Asam laksa is a tart soup that originated in Indonesia and Malaysia. The choice of fish used in the soup depends on what’s good at the market. Choose the freshest fish you can find.
- 3 Tbsp tamarind or ¼ cup lime juice
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 2 tsp turmeric, ground
- ¼ tsp white pepper, ground
- 2 to 4 fresh Thai chilies, chopped
- ¼ cup cashews
- 1 tsp coriander, ground
- ½ tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
- 1 tsp dried shrimp or fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 4 cups coconut milk
- 2 cup water
- 1 stalk lemongrass or lemon zest
- ½ lb chicken breast
- ½ fish filet (of your choice)
- ½ lb shelled shrimp
- Salt to taste
- 2 bunches watercress
- 1 small cucumber, sliced
- ¼ cup Vietnamese coriander or cilantro
- 2 fresh mint
- sambal oelek
Soak tamarind in ¼ cup boiling water.
Place garlic, scallion, turmeric, pepper, chile, cashews, cilantro, cumin, Aleppo pepper and dried shrimp in a mortar or food processor and purée.
Place coconut oil and spice paste in a large pot on low heat for 10 minutes. Pour in coconut oil, water, tamarind pulp and lemongrass. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, chop chicken and fish into bite-sized pieces. Add, along with shrimp, to the pot when it begins to boil. Salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Chop watercress into 1-inch sections; incorporate along with cucumber and chopped herbs. Serve with a side of sambal oelek.
A variation of the Fish and Pineapple Soup from The Spice Trekkers Cook at Home