I do not enjoy durian. There, I said it. But tempoyak? How is it that something that is so stinky can ferment into something so delicious? Musky, sweet, sour, it is one of my favourite local condiments.
The stinky tempoyak tempered down to a gorgeous broth.
Serves 4 people
Many dishes in the central and northern states use tempoyak in their cooking. In this recipe, tempoyak and patin come together in a dish containing so many different notes, it tastes like a jazz song.
1 whole ikan patin, gutted, cleaned and cut into chunks.
3 cloves garlic
½ inch fresh turmeric
12 bird’s eye chillies
1 inch piece ginger, bruised
5 Tbs fermented durian (tempoyak, available at most markets and now even supermarkets)
2 stalks daun kesum (laksa or polygonum leaves)
3 cups water
3 Tbs oil
Salt and sugar to taste
Heat oil in a pot. Fry pounded ingredients until fragrant and the oil rises to the top.
Stir in the fish and pour in enough water to cover the fish. Add the julienned galangal at this point.
Mix in the tempoyak well and bring to a boil. Once it has boiled, turn down the heat and put in the laksa leaves.
Taste and season with salt and sugar accordingly. Simmer until the fish is cooked- about 10 minutes.