Penang Asam Laksa @ Pasar Air Itam

pasar air itam laksa

I’ve always been a big fan of Penang Asam Laksa. I prefer asam laksa over the santan (coconut milk) saturated variants out there. Cheryl brought us to the best Penang Asam Laksa in Penang when I was there for the long Labor weekend.

air hitam laksa

In true Penang tradition, the best Penang Asam Laksa lies not in an air-conditioned food court but at Jalan Pasar in Air Itam. The stall is a bit dingy and the seating arrangements nothing more than plastic stools and slightly shabby tables beside a drain.

air itam montage

Appetite stimulated by the authentic smells and ambience, we ordered ice cold five fruits soup (it’s a shaved ice dessert popular in Sibu too, except we call it five tastes soup) and fried popiah with century eggs.

penang asam laksa

The Penang Asam Laksa (RM 2.70 and worth every cent) at Pasar Air Itam did not disappoint – it came in a broth that had the signature medley of tastes distinctive of asam laksa. Tamarind? Check. Lemongrass? Check. Onions? Check. The hearty soup went down really well with its minced fish pieces. It’s awesome-ness!

air itam laksa

I also learned a trick from Cheryl – dipping popiah into the rich Penang Asam Laksa broth is addictive! I’m lovin’ it.

“Over here in Penang, we just call it laksa”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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140 thoughts on “Penang Asam Laksa @ Pasar Air Itam”

  1. thats my all-time favourite too!
    shame. we didnt have enough time, and we had too much to eat at Lorong Selamat.
    next time.
    the next time is like… a few years time? =.=!!!

    Reply
  2. Simon Seow: Penang is fun. ๐Ÿ™‚
    chefmel: Erm…I’m from Sarawak but I’ve always preferred Penang Asam Laksa. I like asam laksa. ๐Ÿ™‚
    cynthia: Next time for Penang? God knows when. Next time to meet up? We both know when. Ed and FF, FTW! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cheryl: I wanna go back Penang too and eat all the delicious food! ๐Ÿ™‚
    …and the great company of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  3. HB, love the food entry. Is the noodle like udon Japanese style? Popiah is it like fresh spring roll or deep fry you tau?
    Never had it but read of it in food blogs. Southeast Asian food is limited in San Francisco so it a treat to see in your blog off and on.

    Reply
  4. omg. just came accross your blog through innit.
    gosh.salvating (not literally don’t worry) just looking at the pic. wrong time to be seeing this post as it’s time to go to bed and i now have assam laksa cravings!!
    darn it! =p

    Reply
  5. omg… your picture sure does stimulate my saliva gland and i’m missing the aromatic and wonderful flavour of assam laksa… i miss the cooling drink too… **browsing for recipe now**

    Reply
  6. ya.. tat toilet paper rumors have been there for a damn long time d… but did u guys know that the actual famous laksa is not that one on the road side… is actually a stall behind the market.. the uncle is deaf… the originate of famous laksa is from the deaf uncle.. but ppl cant find it, cos is abit inside the market… so as times goes by.. this road side laksa get to be known…

    Reply
  7. This stall actually has 3 branches.The HQ in Balik Pulau and another one in Genting Cofeeshop,Island Glades.All operated by this Air Itam siblings, the soup all came from the same pot which is the HQ in Balik Pulau market.

    Reply
  8. The presentation of the food look so messy.. Err.. spicy too? But sometimes cant judge the food by it look.. Must try this Penang Asam Laksa when visit Penang next time.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply
  9. Erica: The noodles look like udon but they’re not udon. It’s not as dense as udon is. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Popiah are deep fried spring rolls. ๐Ÿ™‚
    esther: Hello, and thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Heh! I am craving for asam laksa too but I have no idea where to find it at my workplace.
    Darren: Yup, it’s just RM 2.70 and that’s cheap even for Sibu! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Fumoffu: It’s really good huh? ๐Ÿ™‚
    cwee: Yeah, Penang is just so much fun! ๐Ÿ™‚
    panda: Yup! Penang has the best food. Cheap too! ๐Ÿ™‚
    cindy khor: Asam Laksa is the best thing ever. I’m not really a big fan of the santan based laksas. I can’t drink santan broth, but I can easily finish fish assam broth. ๐Ÿ™‚
    KY: LOL! Yeah, there’s a lot of rumors like this – plastic bottles used in cooking oil so goreng pisang doesn’t go soggy etc. ๐Ÿ™‚
    ah loon: I’ve heard a varient involving sanitary napkins and bak kut teh in Klang. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh, I didn’t know that…there’s actually one behind the market? This one is manned by an uncle too, don’t know the status of his hearing though. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    pm: Nope.
    MaryJane: Whoa, not too bad eh. Interesting that everything comes from the HQ in Balik Pulau market. Very nice method of quality control, but makes real expansion a bit difficult. ๐Ÿ™‚
    aud: Nice! I want to go to Penang again too. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Your grandma lives near Penang Hill eh?
    Shirley Snow: Yup, but it’s damn nice! ๐Ÿ™‚
    It doesn’t look like much, but it’s delicious!
    ShaolinTiger: Penang is a seriously awesome place for good ol’ hawker food. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  10. eiling: Yeah, I love century eggs too! ๐Ÿ™‚
    It’s delicious!
    pm: Sure, but you’re too far away.
    No one wanted to do that, have been planning it for ages to see how long I can last.

    Reply
  11. there was once someone mentioned the stall owner used toilet paper in the broth!
    then another mentioned bout they moving into some food courts or such.
    guess all debunked myths now?

    Reply
  12. J2Kfm: I’m not sure about debunked. I hear some Star reporters actually got pictures of pisang goreng stalls melting their cooking oil plastic bottles in the boiling oil.
    But yeah, I don’t really care. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  13. i beg to differ. the best laksa i had was in balik pulau at the centre of the town near a monument/clock tower. the broth is full of fish pieces that you’re actually eating the soup than the noodles.
    and the noodles are not starchy and gooey like the air hitam one. it’s more towards the malay type of laksa rice noodles.

    Reply
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