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One of the most amazing dishes I have ever eaten is tempoyak - a dish of fermented durian, that wonderful fruit of South East Asia. I tried it at a restaurant in KL a few years ago but can still remember the lingering flavour.

I have been unable to find out how to make it. Does anybody know this dish and how to make it?

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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Durian. Fermented.

Egad.

Yes, actually. I do. You take the durian flesh and put it into an air tight container. Add a tablespoon of sugar and half of salt and beat the stuff mercilessly. Seal it up and put it in a dark place. After four days it's... fermented.

If you open the container, you'll have to leave town.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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But the flavour is so sublime!!!! It's amazing how the fermentation process transform the original flavours into something that is so beautiful (although I must admit that a friend of mine who was with me when I first tried it thought it was revolting!).

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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Roger, as with durian itself there is a clear division between those who loathe and those who love such stuff. And the split is 98% against. Which is why such pleasures must often be almost solitary.

Really. Be careful opening the container. The blast will singe your eyebrows.

Good luck.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Roger- how did you eat the tempoyak? As a sambal or cooked in a fish / chicken / vegetable dish?

I must admit that I've not tried tempoyak myself (guess there would be no possibility of eating it without knowing it!). But then again I'm not a big fan of durian - I'll eat a couple of seeds if it's really good but I don't crave it. The rest of my family is crazy about durians though - they'd have durians for dinner, sometimes with rice, coconut milk and a sprinkling of sugar. My sister sometimes has a tub of it in the freezer for emergency cravings.

Have you tried durian pengat? It's a durian dessert cooked with coconut milk, palm sugar and pandan leaves.

Edited by Shiewie (log)
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What better way to end a meal than a beautiful glass bowl studded with ice cubes with pillows of the secretions of the glands of the snow frog lying languidly over them!

Oh, I can think of many, many better ways!

I think.

Pillowy? And you eat them at the end of the meal, like dessert? Are they sweet?

Is this one of life's essential culinary experiences?

- Jane.

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It's usually cooked (double-boiled) as a sweet soup for dessert, with dried longan, red dates and sometimes with a type of ginseng (pao sum). It's jelly-like, somewhat like bird's nest soup.

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Shiewie

It's usually cooked (double-boiled) as a sweet soup for dessert, with dried longan, red dates and sometimes with a type of ginseng (pao sum). It's jelly-like, somewhat like bird's nest soup.

I am so glad that you have arrived on this forum. It's just so good to have experts helping us to learn about the amazing depth of Asian food.

For example, I didn't know it had been cooked with either dried longan or ginseng! It is certainly jelly-like, hence my reference to 'pillows'. There were jelly-like 'blobs' lying lazily on the limpid liquid.

It was certainly a cleansing end to a lovely meal.

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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I wouldn't mind trying durian, but I could never find it. Is there a certain season it's available, and is it grown domestically?

I might try the Thai grocer later today, but I appreciate any info.

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Shiewie
It's usually cooked (double-boiled) as a sweet soup for dessert, with dried longan, red dates and sometimes with a type of ginseng (pao sum). It's jelly-like, somewhat like bird's nest soup.

I am so glad that you have arrived on this forum. It's just so good to have experts helping us to learn about the amazing depth of Asian food.

:wub::wub: Thank you for your kind words but I am hardly an expert. I merely like to eat... a lot!

I'm probably just more familiar with some Asian foods since I have grown up on it and have lived here most of life.

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  • 1 month later...

:blink:

Dear Mr McShane,

I truly adore your courage and bravery in tasting the tempoyak. Anyway, I just want to let you know that it's the durian season now in Malaysia. I made some tempoyak myself and if you happen to be in the worst desperation and have uncontrollable craving, let me have your address as I can send them by air. :biggrin: but then, you've got to teach me the technique of sealing it properly. Now, they're all sitting in jam bottles....

lemme know kay...i'd be please to let you try my homemade tempoyak.

Regards,

Aruna

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Hi Arunaputri

Sorry i haven't responded sooner but I have been travelling in the US.

You make me feel very restless knowing that it is durian season. I wish i could drop into Malaysia and try some of your tempoyak.

Unfortunately our quarantine laws in Australia are such that I cannot import any such delicacies!!!!

Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Found this recipe at http://www.kuali.com/ - Excellent resource for Malaysian recipes.

Tempoyak

Recipe by Amy Beh

Ingredients

5-6 pips durian, remove flesh and discard the seeds

half tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

Method

Scrape the durian flesh from the seeds and place in a clean, dry jar. Stir in salt and sugar, then use a fork to beat until fluffy and frothy. Screw the cap tightly and leave the durian to ferment for three to four days.

The fermented durian or tempoyak can then be used for making curries. (Tempoyak, if well chilled, can keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.)

Happy Cooking !

cpj

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  • 1 month later...

Durian out of season, out of luck. Or not?! Does anybody know if tempoyak can be made from frozen durian? Got a freezer full of meticulously sealed durian...

Any recipes for durian porridge are also welcome!

Regards,

Gidon

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  • 6 months later...

So Roger .... have you made any tempoyak lately? :biggrin:

It was served in a small bowl to be eaten as an accompaniment to a range of small dishes.

I suspect the tempoyak dish you had was the simple Sambal Belacan Tempoyak which is just sambal belacan with the tempoyak added, rather than the cooked Sambal Tempoyak which has coconut milk, anchovies and chilles.

I am a big fan of durians but I run away from tempoyak. In fact, that stuff is banned from my house. But how does one impose a ban on in-laws? Everytime they come visiting, I pray that they leave the budu, tempoyak, and fermented fish back home. I can somewhat tolerate cincaluk, although I don't eat the stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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