Laksa Pahang is special to the state of Pahang Darul Makmur.
It is a traditional rice noodle dish that can be eaten at any time, but it is especially sought after and served during festivals and special occasions.
This delicious dish, although basically made from rice noodles, is distinguished by its slightly different flavor from rice noodle dishes of other states in Malaysia such as laksa Penang, Kedah, Johor or Sarawak.
Have you ever wondered then what makes laksa Pahang taste differently from that of laksa Penang or laksa Kedah?
Well, the laksa Pahang recipe includes coconut milk as the main ingredient for the gravy or sauce, while both laksa Penang and Kedah don't use coconut milk as much, if any.
Both laksa Penang and Kedah make use of shrimp paste (otak udang) and mint leaves as part of the condiments that give the special peculiar taste of both laksa dishes.
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The sauce or gravy used in preparing this dish (and also those of laksa Penang and Kedah) are mainly fish based, and the de-boned fish are pounded or blended into fine extracts that will blend when cooked with the specific ingredients particular to the dish.
For those chefs and adventurous cooks out there, here's a typical laksa Pahang recipe ( for about 10 persons) for you to try.
Note that tenggiri fish is used in this recipe, although other fishes like kembong can alternatively be used.
The important thing is to ensure that we get the special fish flavor and taste for the noodle gravy.
Laksa Noodle - 500 gm
Tenggiri Fish - 1 kg
Shallot - 100 gm
Ginger - 100 gm
Coconut Milk - 1 kg
Dried Tamarind - 200 gm
Ginger Bud - 200 gm
Cumin Powder - 100 gm
Finnal Powder - 100 gm
Coreander Powder - 100 gm
Long Bean - 100 gm (cut into tiny pieces)
Belacan bakar - 50 gm
Bean Sprout - 100 gm
Daun Selom - 50 gm
Ginger Bud - 50 gm (cut into tiny pieces)
Chili Padi - 40 gm (cut into small pieces or pounded into a paste)
Onion - 100 gm (cut into tiny pieces)
Cucumber - 100 gm (sliced and cut into many pieces)
The rice noodles are boiled until fully cooked and the water sieved out.
The fish is first boiled in water, and when done, the fishes are deboned.
After deboning, the flesh of the fish is then either pounded with pestle and mortar, (or nowadays, just blendered), into very fine pieces.
After which it is cooked with ginger, chili padi, ginger bud, shallots and dried tamarind in coconut milk.
The whole concoction is boiled until they simmer and is well cooked. Sometimes seasonings are added according to taste.
The noodle is placed in a bowl or plate, and spoonfuls of the gravy added.
Then vegetables, like bean sprouts, long beans, a little sambal or chili padi (this is hot!) and cucumbers, are added according to one's desire, and mixed with the noodles.
Adding a pinch of belacan bakar (grilled belacan), and a sprinkle of lime juice, will make you want to add more and more noodles to your plate.
And you'll probably slurp and lick the left-over gravy when the noodles are finished.. Believe me!
So, whenever you're in Pahang, don't forget to try this special dish, one of the traditional dishes of the state.
You will probably find it during normal days only at a few selected restaurants in Kuantan and other towns, but for special occasions and especially at open houses during festivals like Hari Raya Aidil Fitri or Aidil Adha, laksa Pahang is probably common and one of the favorite dishes served by the hosts.
As always, from me ..