Monday, 25 January 2016

Sambal Tempoyak


Kris commented in one of my post that I am a daredevil for eating expired food. I'm going to pull another stunt by eating tempoyak (fermented durians) that has been in the fridge for God knows how long.

Last year, during the durian season, my partner brought back 2 small trays of durians from Penang to feed his Durian Queen. Unfortunately the durians were not in tip top condition. So his Durian Queen decreed "Waste not!" and proceeded to make tempoyak.

There's lots of bacterial activity in here.

I don't know the exact proportion of durians to salt, so I just agak-agak. After 3 days of fermentation, I put the tempoyak in the fridge and conveniently forgot about it until last weekend. 

I asked my friend Jalil, the kitchen maestro, if he had any recipes using tempoyak and how long can tempoyak keep. He replied with regrets that tempoyak is not to his liking. In fact he doesn't even like budu. Hello bro. Are you seriously from Terengganu?

Take a deeeeep breath.

With that, I was left to my own devices as to how to utilize my very ripe and prime tempoyak. I googled and found many recipes. So many that I could not decide which to choose. In situations like this, I just go ahead and make something of my own based on what I saw in the other recipes.


I pounded some red chillies, one big onion, garlic and a handful of ikan bilis into a paste. Since I am a daredevil, I must live up to my reputation and I added 7 cili padi. The whole lot was sauteed in hot oil until aromatic. Then I added 2 generous tablespoons of tempoyak and seasoned the sambal with one rounded teaspoon of sugar.


Hopefully the hot oil would kill all the harmful bacteria in the tempoyak hah..hah..hah... The smell was pungent and wonderful. Wonderful to people like me who love durians but it was most likely stinky to those who treat durians like plutonium.

I had a taste. Woo...la...la...la...!!! It was salty, sourish, sweetish and oh so fierce. Love it! Love it! Love it! This sambal went so well with fried fish and hot steaming rice. 


Well, I completed another feat of eating dodgy food and lived to tell the tale. From what I read, tempoyak can keep for months if you make it properly under sterile conditions. I still have about 2 or 3 tablespoons of tempoyak leftover after making this sambal. That means I have a chance of trying another recipe. 




Sambal Tempoyak
Recipe source : Phong Hong

Ingredients :
- 5 red chillies
- 7 cili padi
- 1 big onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- a handful of ikan bilis, washed and drained
- 2 generous tablespoons tempoyak
- 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste

Method :
1. Pound red chillies, cili padi, onion, garlic and ikan bilis.
2. Heat oil in wok and saute the pounded ingredients until  cooked and aromatic (about 10 minutes).
3. Add tempoyak and mix into the sauteed ingredients and continue to fry for another 10 minutes.
4. Season with sugar to taste.

34 comments:

  1. Very appetizing, PH! I miss this dish now that I am no more working. My Malay colleagues used to bring this to the office during the durian season... eat with fried fish... wahhh... drooling now!!

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    Replies
    1. It's quite easy to make. Now I will make tempoyak during durian season!

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  2. Oh dear, not only are you a daredevil in eating expired food, you purposely "ferment" food to eat...haha! I'm one of those who thinks durians stink, so I'm not going to touch this tempoyak with a 10-foot pole! :D Although I'm sure yours taste good (it does look quite good actually) since you like this kind of stuff.

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    Replies
    1. hah..hah...fermented foods are stinky to some people but so yummy to others. The sambal was good, I loved it.

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  3. OK. I am seriously drooling over that "expired" tempoyak of yours.

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  4. It's fermented so doesn't that mean it can be kept till like forever? I have also, at least two or three years old. Maybe I can use and cook this to get rid of it...as my missus has made some fresh tempoyak last month when the fruit was in season.

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    Replies
    1. Oh! Two or three year old tempoyak! That's a revelation and I need not worry then. I love this tempoyak and will make more the next durian season.

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  5. Hi Phong Hong,
    I like durian but don't sambal chilli. So can't imagine how this Sambal Tempoyak taste like. Hee .. hee.. I'm 'mountain tortoise'.

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    1. Hi Karen! Some people who like durian don't like tempoyak. I suspect you might not like it hah..hah...

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  6. Hi Phong Hong, I've never heard of 'tempoyak' before but this really looks delicious. Can you send me some if you're making this 'tempoyak' in the next round?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ann! Sure, but I don't if the courier company will transport this smelly stuff hah..hah...

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  7. I love to eat durian but sad to say I have not tasted any tempoyak before though I have eaten some durians that tasted a bit off. What does Tempoyak taste like? Can you still taste the tempoyak in your fiery sambal?

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    Replies
    1. I am not sure if you will find tempoyak palatable. It does have a strong smell since it is fermented. It is salty and sourish. If you have a chance, you can try a little bit to see if you like it. The tempoyak taste is quite mild in this sambal.

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  8. https://cookpad.com/id/resep/479765-pindang-tempoyak-khas-palembang Try this... i had this and been dreaming of it...

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    Replies
    1. Wokay, that will be my next project!

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  9. Hi Phong Hong, I do not know how to appreciate tempoyak. I love fresh durian and anything with durian I will eat too. But surprisingly I do not have the liking for tempoyak.

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    Replies
    1. Nancy, it's quite normal since tempoyak has a strong taste and smell. So it is OK if you don't like it :)

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  10. I wonder which one's worse, plutonium or kryptonite hahahaha!

    Since I'm not from Terengganu, I can admit that I will not come close to this tempoyak thing without shame. I can handle durians, but not fermented durians @.@ ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hah..hah... yeah, better to eat fresh durians lah. I only make tempoyak if the durians are of lesser quality. So it is not wasted.

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  11. wah!!! you made your own tempoyak!! that's impressive leh.. so it's just fermenting the durians using salt, hmmm, i thought one has to add a lot of stuffs into it like those jeruk, hahaha.. and actually your tempoyak looks quite nice in color.. i wonder if this would be even better if it's kept longer in the fridge?? like those pickled limes, hehehe~~ :p

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    Replies
    1. I suppose the longer the better for it to develop more flavor. The smell also will become stronger hah..hah..

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  12. okay, i have to be frank here, or you should have already know the fact that i do not like durians?? hahaha, and of course not even a tad little bit of the tempoyak or anything to do with it.. hehehehe.. but also to be honest, putting aside that it's durian, your sambal actually looks lovely, i mean the color and the consistency, and also the fact that you have put in so many garlic and shallots and chilis inside there.. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I know you don't like durians. And spring onions hah..hah...

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  13. OMG, you're real adventurous! Gosh, I can imagine the smell! Hahaha! Btw, durian is banned from my house. Hubby gotta go outside to eat with his friends if he wants. Lol! xoxo

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    Replies
    1. hah..hah...no tempoyak for you then :D :D :D

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  14. Hi Sis, how are you? Your sambal look tempting :)

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    1. Good, thanks Esther :) The sambal is vavavoom!

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  15. Hi Phong Hong
    You daredevil! Haha! I have never eaten tempoyak before though I have heard about it. Clever you, to make it into something so appetizing! I don't think I would like eating tempoyak on its own! But turning it into sambal is something else! Looks yummy!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Joyce! Yes, on its own tempoyak can be overpowering but made into sambal it is mellow. And oh so delicious!

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