Just for you…

I cooked this dish of tempuyak (fermented durian) prawns for my Chinese New Year open house

Tempuyak prawns 1

…and it certainly seemed to be very well received.

Tempuyak prawns 2

Either they were really very nice or everyone was particularly very hungry for this, along with the rest of the dishes that I had cooked, were gone in no time at all.

Well, the other day, I did manage to get some more of those freshwater prawns aka tua thow hay (big headed prawns) or in Malay, udang galah and I decided to cook some for my mother…

Tempuyak prawns 3

Unfortunately, I forgot to snap photographs of the ingredients and the cooking procedure step by step. Anyway, all you need are a bit of belacan (dried prawn paste), around 1 cm3 of it, one chili, seeds removed, and one stalk of serai (lemon grass), bruised at the end. Boil these ingredients in a bit of water till the belacan has dissolved and you can smell the fragrance before adding in a spoonful of tempuyak. Stir well before adding in the prawns…

Tempuyak prawns 4

I only cooked 6 prawns as they were solely for my mother so if you wish to cook more, you would need to adjust the amount of the ingredients used accordingly. There is no need to add any salt as the tempuyak would be salty enough and if your tempuyak is a bit too sour, you can add a bit of sugar to counter that.

Simmer for a while to allow the sweetness of the prawns to come out and get into the soup.

So, there you have it – another one of  my hassle-free easy-to-cook kampung-style dish that you can try! Good luck!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

35 thoughts on “Just for you…”

  1. Fermented durian? This is new to me… How does it taste or smell like?

    I love the big headed prawns… Not common here… I had the whole plate of these bbq prawns myself when in Bangkok… I love sucking the brains out of the prawns! LOL!

    It smells like durian with a hint of fermented fragrance added to it and still has the sweetness of the fruit – it’s just salt added to durian flesh…and allowed to ferment. The best ones would be just right – some may be too salty, others may be too sour…and those they sell at the market, they may not use the best durians to make so the quality may not be so good. Best to make one’s own.

    Come on over to Sibu – you can get to enjoy both tempuyak and prawns. The big ones have big heads and a lot of the “ko” or the brain paste – the nicest part of the prawn but they say all the cholesterol is in the head…so I would usually go for the medium-sized ones – smaller heads, bigger bodies. They’re quite easily available here but they’re not all that cheap – RM30-40 per kilo, depending on the size.

  2. So nice of you to cook for your mother! The prawns look huge and delicious! Although I’m not sure what tempoyak is.. and how it tastes! hehe.. But I love anything with succulent prawns and I can imagine the soup to be really yummy!

    Her appetite’s much better when she has this kampung-style kind of food to eat so I do try to cook for her but not too often as prawns and belacan aren’t exactly the best things to eat all the time. Once in a while should be fine.

  3. Yummo! You’re cooking is better than any restaurant you’ve posted. You should start your own! Looks delicious.

    Too bad I did not know I could cook when I was younger. If I had gone into that line, I would have been very rich by now. 😦

  4. Eh, so simple? Just boil the ingredients and throw in the prawns and it tastes so good. I like that type of cooking. Very hassle free. I must try making my own tempoyak. I read somewhere that you just add salt to the durian and let it ferment. Sounds easy but must find out the proportion of salt and durian so that it turns out right.

    That’s kampung-style cooking for you. So fast, so easy…and so nice to eat. I would not say it is healthy though – not with the prawns and the belacan…but at least, there’s no oil or msg added. You should try cooking the prawns with kunyit – Irene Tan did, but with fish and now she cooks it every week! The hubby loves it so much: https://suituapui.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/one-more-time/

    You can try making your own tempuyak but you will need quite a lot of fruits to get only a little. Add salt, a little at a time…until there is a nice balance between the saltiness and the sweetness of the fruit. Let it stand in a sieve or some cloth to let the water/juices drain out…and then keep in a stone jar or a bottle and let it stand outside till it ferments. You will see air tunnels (like honeycomb cake or sarang semut). That’s the fermentation – after that, you can put in the fridge and keep to eat or for use for a long time.

    1. Try not to touch the durians with your bare hands too if u can help it. Also everything must be water free. No ratio salt to durian flesh as all durian does not have the same sweetness. Perhaps 1 rice bowl of durian flesh, you can put in about 1 tbsp of salt. You can always add more salt into the tempoyak and stir even after it has already ferment if you find the tempoyak is not salty enough. Homemade tempoyak ( using good durian ) seldom have that sourish taste. It has that nice sweetness and saltiness only which is how tempoyak should taste like.

      Sikit sour lah from the frementation, not exactly say sour also… They say the very sour ones – tak jadi…women made when at that time of the month, pantang. Or is that the pantang when making traditional Foochow red wine? Confused liao, can’t remember. Maybe they touched, touched the durian…did not keep dry, so basi’.

      1. Drain the juice/ water out first only then add the salt 😉

        We tapis after adding the salt. If good quality durian, not much will ooze out.

  5. Prawns, yummy yummy…

    Yum! Yum indeed!!! Would be nice with seawater prawns or tiger prawns too…but I guess you can’t get tempuyak easily there.

  6. Sounds too simple but where do I get tempuyak?

    Dunno. Here, at the market, they have…but not too sure about the quality. Own made is the best. Peninsula…ikan patin/keli masak tempoyak very popular leh? Once I had it at one big hotel lunch buffet. Keli! Yum! Yum! Lucky thing not patin – don;t like the smell.

  7. I like the prawns minus the tempoyak :-p

    It’s ok in cooked dishes – not like eating it on its own. The same with cincaluk… Lots of these prawns in Sarikei & Bintangor – cheaper than Sibu!

  8. durians and fermented somemore?? no, thank you..

    You, of course lah…high class punya orang, fine dining makanan orang putih – where got want to touch our cheap, simple kampung food.

  9. Fermented durian prawns, first time hear this. Being an adventurer on food, I will try. It looks good too.

    You’ll love it! Hardly any durian or tempuyak smell…just the taste of the sweetness and makes the soup thick and creamy. Not like eating tempuyak just like that – I would say that’s an acquired taste.

  10. Another good recipe.Though I am not a fan of tempuyak but this one really looks good. Must try and who knows maybe I will be cooking it countless time.

    Ya…tak kenal, maka tak cinta… 😉

  11. I love anything that has tempoyak. I especially love the fragrance and the unique taste. Too bad my boys don’t share the same love as me.. sobs!!!

    Come, come! Bring them here. I’ve another recipe…more hassle, not so easy to cook – can rival Ruby’s butter scotch, I tell you. I cook that for them and see whether they like or not. Sure nothing left for you in the end, not even the huah! LOL!!! 😀

  12. Wow tempoyak with prawns?!! This is the first time I have heard of it. This must have been acquired taste. I only like to eat fresh durians on its own.

    I’m the opposite – not crazy about durians on their own but I love durian desserts and durian ice cream, Thai durian with pulut….yummmmmm!!!! And I love tempuyak, even if eaten just like that with rice. Slurpsssss!!!!

  13. totally drool-worthy! such humongous prawns too, with plenty of flesh to enjoy! i don’t think i’ve ever had tempoyak with prawns before, and i might be a bit apprehensive about it, but sounds like it could be a big hit among the right people! 😀

    Over in the peninsula, it’s all fish – patin and keli, I’ve seen. I think if you google for the recipe, you will not get any prawns, just fish.

  14. Wow…this looks good .drooling…I love tempoyak ! And those prawns are huge too 🙂 I am sure all your guests love this dish.

    You love? Then you will enjoy this very much. Go, go! Go ahead and cook and let’s hear your expert verdict. Wink! Wink! LOL!!! 😀

  15. So delicious-ly looking! Too bad I wasn’t the lucky one to try.. hehe :p

    And too bad you don’t intend to head this way…so I can’t cook for you to try.

  16. Those prawns simply looking very delicious and mouthwatering! Yum. Your mum is so blessed to have you to cook up a delicious meal for her! Way to go aunty, your son is a good cook!

    I learnt most of everything from her – especially when it comes to our kampung style cooking. Growing up, I would hang around the kitchen with her…and I would help her with stuff like peeling and slicing onions, pounding the chilies and all that.

  17. Such a filial son… I wonder how the prawns taste with fermented durian..but since u said everything was “walloped” then that answers my question, right?

    Just like your son? Wink! Wink! 😉 This is a variation of the prawns you all ate when you had dinner at my house – the tempuyak replacing the sour asam keping. Also very very nice. Yum! Yum!

  18. never thought of durian and prawns together
    but then if its prawns i might like it

    If you’re into our exotic ASEAN dishes, I am sure you will love it. It’s not something out of the ordinary, something ghastly really. I wouldn’t say it has a peculiar taste that needs to be acquired, no. It is very nice really.

  19. anyway does fermented durian tasted sour or something?
    i mean durian is sweet when ripped and i guess for fermented stuff they
    intend to use young ones

    Nope, the young ones – we cook this same way. The flesh will soften and become like ripe durians after being cooked. With tempuyak, the taste is similar…but different. A class of its own.

  20. simple and yummy dish. must cook extra rice for this dish!

    Yes, goes absolutely well with rice. Love the soup – so sweet.

  21. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111111111111

    This is what you cooked on your CNY open house? Prawns with durian tempoyak?

    What an awesome and rare dish – it looks amazing!

    I wish I had dropped by on the first day. 😦

    No worries! Next trip home, I will cook specially for you. Actually I was thinking of asking you over for dinner or something but I wasn’t too sure whether you’d have something on and I’d be stuck with the stuff I’d cooked. We’ll arrange something when you’re back here again, k? 😉

  22. I’m generally very adventurous when it comes to food but not sure if I’ll ever dare try tempoyak. Does it still remain heaty like unfermented durian?

    We usually take around a spoonful only, not like those people eating durians so if it’s heaty, one would not feel it at all.

  23. oh wow….very new to me. Never heard of prawns cooked in tempoyak. Wonder how it tasted like. I have not even tasted tempoyak before.

    When is your next trip back to Sibu? I can cook for you to try – no problem at all. So easy, hassle free.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own.

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