Tempoyak: An Art of Malaysia

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Tempoyak, also known as asam durian or pekasam, is a traditional Malay condiment made from fermented durian. It is widely consumed in Maritime Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Source: azianhasan

Making Tempoyak

The process of making Tempoyak involves taking the flesh of durian, mixing it with salt, and allowing it to ferment at room temperature for three to five days. This fermentation process involves lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus subsp. fersantum, which inhibit the growth of harmful decomposing bacteria, thus preserving the durian flesh.

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Culinary Uses

Tempoyak is not usually consumed on its own. It is often used as a condiment or as an ingredient in cooking. For instance, it is used in making gulai tempoyak ikan patin (pangasius fish tempoyak curry) or mixed with spicy chili pepper to make sambal tempoyak.

Source: wikipedia

Historical Significance

Tempoyak is mentioned in Hikayat Abdullah as a staple food for the people of Terengganu. It is a food special to the ethnic Malays, and a specialty of the states of the east coast of the Malay Peninsula.


Tempoyak is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Malaysia. Its unique taste and versatility make it a beloved ingredient in many traditional dishes.


Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal