Tempoyak, the Malaysian fermented durian

Tempoyak, the local fermented durian is well liked by the Malaysians and Indonesians as well. Whenever there are excess durians, people will make durian kueh and tempoyak.


Tempoyak in plastic container
Tempoyak in plastic container

In Sarawak, tempoyak are sold at the market everyday. It tastes sour and salty with a lot of durian nutty flavour, great for cooking soup with tang hoon or glass noodles.


Tempoyak soup with tang hoon and daun kesum.
Tempoyak soup with tang hoon and daun kesum.                                                                    
Tempoyak soup with glass noodles


  • 2 tbs tempoyak
  • 1 bundle of glass noodle,about 45 gm – soaked in water for 15 min.
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 dry chilli
  • daun kesum
  • 1 tsp of brown sugar (optional)
  1. Slightly stir-fry tempoyak with a bit of oil in the kuali.
  2. Add in all other ingredients including the daun kesum, and boil for 3 min or until the noodles turn   transparent.
  3. Do not add salt as tempoyak is salty by itself.
  4. Garnish with fresh daun kesum leaves.

This soup tastes great, with a faint aroma of durian and that exotic fragrance of daun kesum. It is sour and appetizing.


Another great dish with tempoyak is by stir-frying it with fried tempe.


Tempoyak stir-fry with tempe.
Tempe stir-fried with tempoyak                                                                                                  
Tempoyak stir-fry with tempe


  • 2 tbs of tempoyak, mixed with 1 tbs of water
  • 60 – 70 gm of tempe – cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp of  brown sugar
  • Red and green chillies, one each – sliced
  • Cilantro or Chinese celery – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
  • l tbs of corn oil
  1.  Lightly fry the tempe with 1 tbs of corn oil until the cubes turn brown. Dish out and set aside.
  2.  Add in tempoyak and fry until it turns slightly brown and smell fragrant.
  3.  Stir-fry the tempe and chillies with the fried tempoyak.
  4.  Add in the cilantro and brown sugar.

A great dish of sour and sweet taste, very appetizing.


Finally, the big question – How to make tempoyak?




  • 1 kg  durian pulp (strained for 1 hr to get rid of excess water)
  • 1 – 2  tbsp  rock salt
  1.  Mash the durian pulp in a big pot.
  2. Mix the mashed durian flesh with rock salt.
  3.  Cover the pot and keep the salted pulp at room temperature.
  4.  Usually it will turn sour after  3 – 4 days. Once it turns sour, scoop the tempoyak into plastic containers and store in the fridge.

Tempoyak can last very long in the fridge.


                                   Enjoy making your own tempoyak !




Copyright claim – Do not crop any pictures from malaysiavegetarianfood.com. Do not share our  pictures without any watermarked signature on them.Excerpts from our articles to be credited to malaysiavegetarianfood.com.