This is how it goes…

My blogger-friend from Brunei went to Kuching and the tempoyak (fermented durian) pork that he had swept him off his feet and he kept asking me about it. Pork? All I knew was that in the peninsula, they would cook fish with it, patin or keli usually, and on my part, I would prefer prawns, done in our very simple kampung-style.

He was also asking how tempoyak was made…which is, in fact, very simple and I said simple, not easy as it would be quite a chore opening the durians and removing the flesh from each seed and you may need to use a whole lot of durians just to get one little pot of the coveted stuff. Add salt, according to taste, and when the fermentation is taking place, it will “sweat” or in other words, there will be moisture/water coming out and that would have to be drained and poured away regularly. When you see “holes” in it, like those underground passageways made by ants or whatever, the tempoyak is done and you can put it away in the fridge for use as and when the occasion arises.

I tried cooking pork with it the other day and not knowing how it would be done, I just went about it my own way. These were the ingredients I used…

TP1

– sliced shallot and chili, a bit of belacan (dried prawn paste) and some ikan bilis (dried anchovies). serai (lemon grass) crushed at the end, a sprig of curry leaves, a teaspoon of sugar and of course, some tempoyak.

I fried the shallot and ikan bilis in a little bit of oil till golden brown before throwing in the serai and chili…

TP2

…and the tempoyak – two tablespoons of the stuff…

TP3

I mixed it thoroughly with the aforementioned ingredients and added a bit of water to dilute the stuff and to get a little bit of thick gravy.

Next, I put in the pork, sliced thinly…

TP4

…and added water as and when necessary as the gravy would thicken and dry up very quickly.

Finally, the curry leaves went in…

TP5

…to give the dish that extra fragrance and also the one teaspoon of sugar to counter the slightly sourish fermented taste of the tempoyak.

When the pork was done, I dished it all out onto a plate…

TP6

…and served.

So was it any good? I would most certainly say it was. We had that for dinner that day and my missus and I finished all of it…

TP7

…in just one sitting. It was very fragrant and tasty and the gravy went absolutely well with rice. Now that I know for sure that it would work out pretty well – the way I did it, I certainly would want to cook it this way again…and perhaps the next time around, I’ll try chicken for a change.

Hey!!! Look at what came in the mail yesterday…

From TM

Twilight Man went to Chengdu, China on a holiday last month and that thoughtful guy went through all that trouble to take a selfie to send to me while he was there. Muahahahahahaha!!!!! Thank you so much, my friend – it sure is  nice to be remembered when one is out having fun. Cheers!!!