Tempoyak is basically a condiment made from fermented durian. This is a Malay delicacy that you can find in Malaysia and Indonesia, especially in the areas where ethnic Malays are dominant. In Indonesia, you can find tempoyak in Sumatra and some part of Kalimantan.
Tempoyak is not normally eaten solely as it is a condiment that is usually used to cook other dishes. One of the most popular dishes is Tempoyak Ikan Patin (Pangasius catfish tempoyak curry). Here is what you need to know about tempoyak ikan patin.
The durian treatment
Tempoyak is made from selected durian. It starts with taking the flesh of durian and then mix it with salt. It will be kept in room temperature for three to five days. It is believed that this technique was initially used to preserve food.
However, as time goes, tempoyak evolved into a nice food flavoring. People adding tempoyak to gulai (curry) and sambal to give distinctive taste and aroma.
Fresh patin catfish
Patin catfish are commonly used for gulai with tempoyak seasoning. Only the freshest fish is suitable for this dish. Patin is used because it is a local fish with soft and delicious meat. Patin was also easily found in the rivers in Southeast Asia, including Sumatra. Usually, Patin is cleaned and then chopped (if they are big enough) before then cooked into curry.
How to make tempoyak ikan patin
The first thing to do in making this dish is, of course, making tempoyak. Then you can prepare your fish. You have to prepare some herbs and spices such as shallot, garlic, nutmeg, lemongrass, bay leaves, turmeric, chili, sugar, and salt. All the ingredients are grounded and then cooked together. The result would be a unique curry with a distinctive taste.
Best places to enjoy the dish
The legendary tepoyak ikan patin restaurant is in Jambi. Warung Bu Salma is the place you want to go for an authentic tempoyak ikan patin. You can have an original Malay tempoyak curry with patin fish as the main dish. This place is so popular, it is often visited by important people who happen to visit Jambi. The restaurant is located at Jl.Yusuf Singadekane, Sungai Putri, Danau Sipin, Telanaipura, Jambi City.
Tempoyak is definitely not everyone’s dish. If you despise durian and its strong aroma, then tempoyak is definitely not for you. However, if you don’t mind durian, than tempoyak curry can give a great culinary experience.