Siamese Laksa (Laksa Thai, Laksa Siam or 暹罗辣沙)



About 10 years before my mum passed away in late 80’s, a family friend from Penang taught her to cook this dish in Sarawak.. It is a yellowish colour of Laksa that was made with fish broth and served with shredded pineapple and cucumber.. I loved this dish and since my mum passed away, I have not eaten this dish for more than 20 years as it was not sold in Singapore and Malaysia..


I do not know the exact name of the noodle dish but I can remember that she called it Siam Lo Laksa.. Well I hope that I do not remember wrongly but a search of Siam Laksa do not yield many recipes. After my issuance of my Assam Laksa recipe, I found that the main ingredients are very similar. Being in Sarawak, Bunga Kantan and daun Kesom is not popular at all, I believed that due to this reason, my Penang family friends who based in Kuching also did not use this.. However, for this recipe, I have decided to include this..


The main difference with Assam Laksa is the creaminess of Laksa. It is milky because of the coconut milk used. My first bite immediately told me that this is very close to my late mum’s version. 


I remembered there are friends that told me that there is a variant of Assam Laksa  with coconut milk which they called it Laksa lemak..Some say that it resembles Johor Laksa and another member of my Facebook Group says that she had eaten this type of Laksa cooked by Myanmar friends… Looking at Wiki’s definition, I am even more confused under the variants of curry Laksa and Assam Laksa. It seems that they are all intertwined. Well whatever name it is, I shall let the reader decide..For purpose of this post, I shall name it as Siamese Laksa.


I will not claim that this Laksa recipe as authentic but it is what I am looking for. The recipe is exactly the same as Assam Laksa but the rempah or spice mix were first sauté until fragrance and the addition of coconut milk. Therefore, for those who are interested in Assam Laksa recipe, you can refer to this post: Penang Assam Laksa (亚参叻沙).


For this illustration, since I did not have bunga kantan and cucumber, I have omitted bunga kantan and substitute cucumber with lettuces.



Servings: 4-6 adult servings


Spice paste (rempah)

  • 6 shallots
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 5 cm of fresh turmeric
  • 3 cm of galangal
  • 3 stalks of lemon grass
  • 10 dried chillies , soaked
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1/2 bud of bunga kantan
  • 2 tablespoons of shrimp paste (belachan)


  • 5-6 mackerel (Ikan kembong)
  • 4-5 stalks of Vietnamese mint (daun kesum)
  • 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 3 pieces of tamarind peel (Assam keping)
  • 8-10 cups of plain water
  • 400 ml or grams of thick coconut milk (not in picture) – About 2 packets
  • Pinches of salt or 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil


Assembly and garnishing

  • 500 grams of Laksa noodles or thick rice vermicelli , blanched
  • 1 small pineapple , cut into small pieces
  • 1 red big onion – sliced thinly
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • 1 cucumber , julienned into small stripes
  • 1 red chilli  or 2-3 bird eye chillies, cut into small pieces
  • Some lettuces , sliced thinly




  • Put all spice mix or rempah ingredients in a blender. Add adequate water to cover the herbs. Blend as fine as possible. Set aside.

  • Put the tamarind paste in a bowl, add 1-2 cups of water, use the hand to squeeze the tamarind paste in the water until all the seeds comes out. Drain the Assam juices and sift them onto another bowl. Throw away the seeds and set aside.


  • Put the water in a pot. Bring to boil. Once it boils, add the fishes. Boil the fish until cooked which took about 10 minutes.  Off the heat. Take out the fish and keep the fish stock. Debone and mash the fish.


  • Heat up a wok and add cooking oil. Sauté the rempah or spice mix until fragrant and oil starts to separate from the spice mix.  Transfer the rempah to the fish stock earlier. Add the daun kesum,  tamarind juice and tamarind peel. .


  • Add the fish meat and bring to boil. Once it boils, let it simmer at low heat for 15-20 minutes for the flavour to develop. Once it is done, add the coconut milk followed by seasoning (fish sauce or salt and sugar).  Bring to boil and off the heat.


  • For assembly, have a bowl. Placed some Laksa noodles. Pour some soup until it covers the noodles. Garnish with mint leaves, pineapple slices, red chilli, shredded cucumber, sliced red onions and lettuces. Best served warm as a one dish noodle meal.



As I have mentioned before, I am unsure whether  or not this is authentic but what I know is that it suits my family’s taste buds. Laksa is such a big category of South East Asian cuisine  well liked by many people in the region. It is therefore not surprising that there are many variants and crossovers between the 2 main category of Laksa: Assam Laksa and Curry Laksa..Such crossovers have resulted in many regional Laksa like Thai Laksa, Perlis Laksa, Kelantan Laksa, Johor Laksa, Kedah Laksa, Ipoh Laksa and many many more. Not to mention the nonya Laksa lemak, Sarawak Laksa and Katong Laksa. They all taste goods, looks a bit similar with a bit of differences…Who claims who is authentic, in my humble opinion, is unfounded..If you found that this Laksa do not fit the Siamese Laksa that you know, you can always changed it to the name that you like.. and I would be glad if one can tell me what is the Laksa that my late mum have cooked..


Hope you like the post today, cheers and have a nice day.



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