How to Make Penang Assam Laksa and Lai Fun (Rice Spaghetti)

Twitch broadcast #3 and yes, I know it looks like my studio suffered a bomb blast right before I went On Air. To be fair, I was just trying to follow advice to take it easy and make everything from scratch – live streaming on Twitch is all about inviting your buddies to virtually hang out with you in your kitchen, not, they say, a formal, impersonal, cooking demonstration.

My audio played up again (of course) – I think it was a faulty usb cable that caused the crackling sound. I have the best microphones in the world, and I always give shoutouts to Rode Microphones for supplying them, but at this stage it wouldn’t surprise me to get a phonecall from their marketing department begging me to stop.


For the spice paste –

  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom 5 inches only)
  • 2-inch piece galangal
  • 5 dried big chillies, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 1 Tbsp shrimp paste aka belacan
  • 1-inch piece turmeric root

For the stock –

  • 2.5 L water
  • 1 kg mackerel
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, bruised
  • 250 ml tamarind concentrate (commercially available, or soak 3 Tbsp pulp in 250 ml hot water and strain)
  • 3 pieces asam keping (dried tamarind slices), optional
  • 2 sprigs laksa leaves aka Vietnamese mint, optional
  • 1 ½ Tbsp chicken powder
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sugar

To serve –

  • 1 kg fresh rice spaghetti aka lai fun noodles (recipe below)
  • 3 Lebanesee cucumbers, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cups pineapple, cut into thin strips
  • 2 red onions, sliced thinly
  • 2 fresh red chillies, sliced
  • 1 x ginger flower bud (bunga kantan), shredded
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup prawn paste (hae ko), simmered with 80ml water to a slightly thick sauce


  1. Combine spice ingredients in Thermomix or Thermocook and blend to a paste.
  2. Steam or boil fish until just cooked; remove and allow fish to cool.
  3. Add remaining stock ingredients and all the spice paste to the fish broth, simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Flake the fish and discard bones.
  5. Divide noodles between bowls, pour over hot broth and top with fish. Garnish with toppings and spoonful of prawn paste sauce.

Homemade Lai Fun Noodles


  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 500 ml boiling water
  • 1-2 tsp salt


  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Allow to cool until manageable, then knead lightly to a pliable texture.
  2. In this broadcast I used a noodle mould though you would traditionally pinch pieces from the dough and roll then into long strips by hand.
  3. Cook in boiling water for about a minute, remove and toss with oil to prevent them from clumping together.
  4. Briefly blanch in hot water to remove oil before use.


Penang assam laksa

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