Tempoyak is a Malay condiment made from the fermented durian flesh. It is originally consumed by the ethnic Malays in Malaysia but now gaining its popularity with other races too. Tempoyak is specifically very popular in Perak.
Tempoyak is made from the flesh of durians that have been mixed with some salt and kept in room temperature condition for three or five days for the fermentation process. The fermentation process involves a number of different lactic acid bacteria. These lactic acid bacteria inhibit the growth of harmful decomposing bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, which in turn preserves the durian flesh.
Tempoyak has a unique combination of sour and milky taste. Despite of its deliciousness, the smell of the tempoyak is twice or even three times more pungent than the durian itself, plus it also contains lots of gases. Not only it can be eaten raw as a condiment when mixed with spicy chili pepper, it is also an essential ingredient for cooked dishes like prawn sambal tempoyak, fish assam tempoyak, tapioca leaves tempoyak, anchovees tempoyak and many more. The addition of tempoyak gives off a distinct aroma and savoury flavour to the dish.
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