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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Famous Penang Asam Laksa at Air Itam Market

A trip to Penang is never complete without a visit to the famous Penang Asam Laksa stall at Air Itam market. Actually it is very near to Kek Lok Si Temple.

After all these years, it is not difficult to locate the same old stall. 

We call this sidewalk stall, a "Tai Pai Dong" (大牌檔) but now you can also say that this is "al fresco dining Malaysian style", yeah?

There are other stalls in Penang that serve equally good or better asam laksa, but for me, this is the Penang Asam Laksa I'll always remember and cherish. My parents brought me here. So did my school friends, colleagues, acquaintances and loved ones. How many times I had sat on the stools here and enjoyed the asam laska served through the ages. Then it was their elders, now it is the younger generation who are manning the stall. It's the memories you know.

“Famous Penang Asam Laks at Pasar Air Itam”, a copyrighted post, was written for Klang, Malaysia Daily Photo blog by Autumn Belle @ http://mymalaysiadailyphoto.blogspot.com on Oct 3rd, 2012.

The secret? Besides the poached, flaked and crushed mackerel fish (ikan kembung), shrimp paste, rice noodles and tamarind in the fish broth, can you see the tiny pieces of finely chopped pinkish raw torch ginger (Etlingera eliator) flowers (bunga kantan)?

The garnishing used here are mint leaves, thinly sliced cucumber,onion and chili. I can just wallop everything inside the bowl; garnishing, noodles and soup.

This dish is sweet, salty, sour, spicy and flaming HOT! There is a burning sensation on my tongue and I will always sweat and have a running nose. Its the capsaisin in the chillies! But no problem. This asam laksa is worth the 'torture'.

The antidote? Some cold desserts of course.
Its like using iced water to douse the flames!
Cendol with red bean, kidney beans, tapioca pearls and coconut milk.

Bubur Cha-Cha
- Yam, tapioca and sweet potato dessert with coconut milk,
agar-agar jelly, sago and tapioca pearls with ice-cubes.

Iced lychee drink.

Asam laksa on the double for each person.

The Assam Laksa stall is located at the Air Itam Market Pasar Road (Beside the Air Itam Market) at 11500 Air Itam Penang. It is just 5 minutes walk from Kek Lok Si Temple.

A stall selling traditional You Tiao (油条), our Chinese styled fast food fritters.
I call these Yau Char Kway (油炸粿) and Ham Chim Peng (咸煎饼).

Young coconut juice freshly prepared by hand.

Freshly pressed sugar cane drink with no sugar added.

That's the beauty and charm of PENANG.


  1. Unlike KL, where those making your MAKAN are foreigners ! Penang still retain that charm of the owners preparing it for you ! That is why I like to eat out in Penang !

  2. Very strange during my years in Penang hardly go to Air Itam for laksa. Maybe not my bowl of favorite as curry mee remains a strong competitor

  3. Hi, I have always loved Penang, the food, the beaches but most of all the lovely Penang Nyonyas.
    Love the way they speak hokkien there.
    love your well taken pics here.....brings back memories to me.
    Wishing you and all at home Kong hei fatt choy and all the very best wishes this snake year.
    Have fun and keep a song in your heart.

  4. Hi, i like they way u recommend other foods on top of the famous Adam laksa in this area. It is very helpful by giving us more ideas to plan our trip or time to spend in that area. Great job!


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Autumn Belle


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