August 17, 2022

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Life Must Change

Tempoyak, a Journey to the Limits of Taste (Temerloh, Malaysia)

I’ll forgive you for calling me “loopy” for what I’m about to say.

In case you’re not accustomed to the Malaysian condiment of ‘Tempoyak,‘ then “loopy” is the way it will appear.

Scroll down now, and learn the way life-changing expertise by means of taste could also be so simple as a lunch desk stuffed with native meals in Malaysia.

“Padu Beb!” is a neighborhood Malaysian blogger, and at this time he’s introducing us to ‘Tempoyak.’

Malaysia’s Cause to Have a good time

Malaysia is without doubt one of the few international locations on this planet that not solely welcome the durian fruit – they rejoice it.

Whether or not its a light curiosity, or raging and unceasing starvation, Malaysia is a rustic the place any and all durian lovers can go to really let their passions run wild.

Dreaming a few journey to go to Malaysia? Enable me to introduce to you a condiment so superb, it’s price a whole day of consuming by itself.

Use the hyperlink (watch Mark’s video on YouTube), then scroll right down to get the complete particulars on this whole superb meal.

Introducing Tempoyak

Tempoyak is a South East Asian dish that wants solely two components to make, and I’ll go forward and clue you in proper now – durian is a type of two components.

It was just a few years in the past that the phrase ‘Tempoyak’ first got here to our consideration. Tempoyak is eaten solely in a really quick checklist of locations although, and so we had been merely left to depend the times till this new taste could possibly be a actuality!

Fermented durian is called Tempoyak, and its the most well loved food in most restaurants in Temerloh
Gobang Maju makes a speciality of fish and superb durian chili jam, ‘Sambal Tempoyak’

Temerloh, Malaysia for Tempoyak

The city’s title is Temerloh, a central city in Malaysia that locals know as one of many houses of ‘Tempoyak.’

Clearly, arriving in Malaysia this time, there was nothing else to do however make a direct line out of the airport, and begin the journey for Temerloh.

Tip: Renting a automobile in KL is straightforward and quick (rental utilizing Europcar), and the drive is lower than 2 hours from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia’s capital).

Gobang Maju is a wonderful restaurant located in Temerloh, this is one place you can't miss on your next trip to Malaysia
Grilling freshwater fish, and overlaying them every with Tempoyak – Gobang Maju Restaurant

You’ll in all probability go by dozens of eating places together with approach with indicators promoting for Tempoyak Patin (the wild-sounding recipe together with each durian and a neighborhood species of catfish).

Such an apparent town-wide habit solely builds pleasure to eat, and we perceive one another properly for those who additionally end up questioning, “is simply in the future going to be sufficient?”

First Cease – Gobang Maju Restaurant

Upon arrival, the primary restaurant it is advisable discover in Temerloh is ‘Gobang Maju’.

Its location is correct alongside the riverside, simply previous the primary roundabouts of the city.

Search for the large signal, and let your pleasure carry you – the lunch that awaits is probably going going to make your whole journey worthwhile.

What to Order

The well-known dishes right here use Pangasius, a big Asian river-dwelling catfish (this species really is a silver catfish, referred to as ‘ikan patin,’ just like the restaurant title)*.

You would possibly select the pais bakar (fermenting durian and chili jam cowl a fish straight from the grill), or the identical catfish as sections in a neighborhood favourite asam soup (bitter soup).

*After all, I like to recommend you strive each. The total title on the menu by the way in which, is Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin.

You’re in all probability going to wish at the very least one bowl for every particular person on the desk – after only one style, you will not be keen to share. The ambiance right here is ideal for going overboard on taste, shedding your self utterly in a morning-long epic mealtime.

Tempoyak is a food worth traveling to eat
Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin – a soup of fermented durian paste, with Pangasius (a neighborhood fish)

There are tons of various decisions right here, and you may even select between a la carte objects, or standing in line on the takeout counter up entrance.

I’ll offer you extra particulars on all that in a minute, for now I simply can’t wait to get proper to the primary occasion.

Get Prepared for ‘Tears of Pleasure’

After such a build-up this whole morning, we are able to’t presumably wait any longer – the dish arrives to the desk, and we simply need to dive in spoon-first.

You may get a way virtually instantly, that you simply’re reaching a brand new precipice of meals expertise.  You’ve taken a chew, there’s no going again, a sheer wave of taste vitality comes dancing throughout the tongue.

The First Chew Could Convey Tears…

Nothing can presumably match the expertise of tasting this – Tempoyak bridges far past our ‘consolation zone’ of taste territory.

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Actually leaving the eater speechless, the primary spoonful of this wealthy broth could have any foodie sitting in easy fascination – it’s true and whole mouth-numbing pleasure.

So A lot Extra than simply Durian…

For these of us who know durian, after all there’s that first consolation of the recognizable candy/bitter taste. The funky tingling feeling begins, following a smelly candy thinly creamy mess of taste… However this isn’t simply durian – Tempoyak is a lot extra!

The tongue and nostril awake with a jolt, as a deep fermentation issue turns into clear.

Diving in head over heels by this level, you may very well turn into speechless, and that’s completely okay!

I believe at first for me, its a state of taste over all else, the mind in close to whole confusion. As if standing exterior one’s personal physique, the style wave lastly subsides, and all these across the desk sit grinning, sweating, hopelessly comfortable, and asking “is enlightenment attainable in a lunchtime?… was that have all occurring, simply from meals?!”

A dish that will set your flavor world on fire, Tempoyak elevates any sour and spicy dish from good, to great, to ethereal
Pais Bakar Tempoyak – Grilled Fish in gorgeously gooey Durian and Chili Jam

Sambal Tempoyak (Durian and Chili Jam)

Because the close to out-of-body expertise begins to fade (and the newly religious Tempoyak fan slowly sinks again right down to earth), I urge you to go and relive the amazement a second time.

Begin by discovering the following dish for lunch, a tin-foil wrapper that encloses the dish of pais bakar Tempoyak.

If there’s something that may match a uncooked fermenting durian, its the genius transfer of cooking with the identical durian ingredient. Turning it right into a sambal, embrace a mash of chili peppers, salt, and contemporary garlic, and you’ve got yet one more trophy-worthy style from these splendidly easy components.

Pais Bakar Tempoyak

Thick gobs of the fermented durian combine with a mash of chili peppers, salt, and one thing bitter (most typical fruit for that is bilimbi, a relative of starfruit). This creates even one other degree of the Tempoyak-led practice of flavors, one other genius creation of Malaysia’s native meals custom.

**Extremely, the grilling methodology really tones down the very best peaks of taste attainable in Sambal Tempoyak, so for an absolute finale of taste, learn the notice beneath.

Veteran Durian Lover’s Tip

Not for the faint of coronary heart, this restaurant additionally has small containers of pure, uncooked Sambal Tempoyak (2RM every), yow will discover them on the shelf in the course of the restaurant.

Have some with the contemporary veggies, then have some in your finger, and eventually, please resist the urge to smuggle too many dwelling in your checked baggage (I imply, after all that’s what we did, however I nonetheless need to warn you).

Smoked beef made with a creamy coconut milk curry, the cili padi is amazing
Masak Lemak Cili Padi with Beef is superb at Gobang Maju Restaurant as properly

The mud settles… You Order Extra

Within the aftermath of your mouth’s latest love-discovery there are literally many different scrumptious meals served at Gobang Maju.

Extremely, if not for the Tempoyak haze my mind remains to be wading by means of, I may even write dwelling about this cili padi beef by itself.

Masak Lemak Cili Padi

The primary small bowl you must strive needs to be masak lemak cili padi, one other superb creation of native Malay delicacies.

The smokiness within the beef is beautiful, the layers of taste that come from cooking with dry meat like that is unreal. It’s a must to order at the very least one bowl of this to go along with your lunch when you’re right here.

Observe: We had simply been blown away just a few days beforehand over an immensely tasty morning meal (smoked duck and smoked beef) at Itik Salai Masthar in Kuala Lumpur.

Great side salad here at Gobang Maju Restaurant, made with herbs and vegetables
Small bowl of herbs and crunchy salad, it consists of roasted shredded coconut

Malay Kerabu (Coconut and Chili Salad)

A small bowl of kerabu (blended salad) incorporates splendidly vibrant flavors, and supplies a pleasant crunch as properly. Truthfully, its good to have one dish on the desk not leaving you falling over intoxicated with highly effective flavors, so it is best to in all probability get just a few of those salads as properly.

Crunchy textures and crisp aroma come from shreds of culantro, crunchy bean sprouts and carrots, and some peppers. There’s additionally some purple shallots, and eventually, they mud the complete salad in wonderful shreds of coconut.

That is all stirred along with only a little bit of coconut oil within the dish as properly, and whereas some recipes even embrace rooster or goat with the kerabu as properly (superb recipe in Northern Malaysia proper right here), Gobang Maju’s model right here is vegetarian.

Not for the faint of heart, the Sambal Tempoyak is a wonderful condiment for every single food in sight.
Cashew tree leaves and one other native herb to dip in your Sambal Tempoyak

Recent Vegetable Choice

From the self-service line in entrance, you too can make a plate of those native herbs and contemporary greens.

I see that just about each native customer to the restaurant piles up a small plate with these three greens. The primary one I do know to be the leaf from a Cashew tree, and I believe the second is younger leaves from a Mango tree. The following two I’m not certain of, however they’ve a bitter preliminary style, barely fruity, after which a really gently candy and bitter aftertaste – virtually like a kind of jungle-y basil.

These had been fantastic to dip into the Sambal Tempoyak, and in addition good to make use of as miniature mops to wipe your plate clear.

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The one with all of the smaller leaves works nice to carry that durian jam from the pais bakar tempoyak (the grilled fish with durian jam), and I simply couldn’t get sufficient of this mixture.

Amazing food here today at Gobang Maju in Temerloh, Malaysia
A tray of meals for 2 would possibly seem like this, simply earlier than the Tempoyak soups arrive

Great Meal at Gobang Maju, and don’t neglect Dessert!

This was undoubtedly a meal that I didn’t need to finish. The soups had been superb, the grilled and boiled fish meat so tender, and a beautiful layer of Tempoyak lined the whole lot.

Earlier than asking for the invoice nonetheless, don’t neglect, these restaurant affords a tremendous meals for dessert!

A creation that’s considerably their very own, this Durian Cendol is magnificent! (see photograph beneath)

Starting with a neighborhood kind of crimson sugar on the underside, the bowl is constructed on durian and coconut ice cream, pandan candy noodles, crimson kidney beans, then a layer of crushed ice, and eventually a layer of coconut cream. To high all of it off, the ice cream creator provides two gorgeously creamy chunks of D24 durian (a very talked-about native species).

The dessert was yet one more blessing within the type of durian, and what a technique to finish the meal right here at this time. An enormous thanks to the proprietor of Gobang Maju as properly, who gave us this whole meal freed from cost.

An amazing dessert, also full of durian. This durian cendol at Gobang Maju was amazing
Unbelievable texture on this large bowl of Durian Cendol – Gobang Maju’s signature dessert!

Title: Gobang Maju Patin Tempoyak
Location: Google Maps (hyperlink)
Hours: 11am to 10pm (Closed Thursday)
Value: They so kindly gave us this meal complimentary, Thank You!

There’s Durian, however then there’s LOCAL Durian

As its already been made clear, no foodie on this planet can suppose they’ve ‘tried all of it,’ till they’ve Tempoyak in Western/Central Malaysia.

Simply because it appears worthwhile to dedicate a whole morning to touring for Tempoyak, now it appears solely proper that we additionally give ourselves some room for comparability.

Simply as there’s durian, there’s additionally native durian – subsequently there should even be Tempoyak, after which native Tempoyak.

It’s clearly only a obligatory development.

Obligatory, however the subsequent transfer nonetheless feels nice… and now, on to spherical two!

Visit Selera Patin Bangau for yet another absolutely incredible version of Ikan Patin Tempoyak
That is the entrance of Selera Patin Bangau Restaurant, surrounded by mango and banana bushes

Spherical Two (Tempoyak at Dwelling)

From the Gobang Maju Restaurant its solely a 5-10 minute drive onwards to a second vacation spot, Selera Patin Bangau Restaurant.

However I might say you’ll be able to’t miss this one both.

Whereas Gobang Maju serves a really superb meal, it’s a reasonably massive and well-known restaurant. We additionally wished to expertise on our day of Tempoyak, the distinction in a home-cooked model of this Western Malaysia delicacy.

The drive was by means of jungle and native scenes this time, no important roads. Though Temerloh itself is already stuffed with emotions of leisure, it now appears like you’re driving on to some hidden tropical seashore.

Passing folks sitting alongside the riverside, there are fisherman, cows, and single-home fruit farms. It jogs my memory of journeys way back, the fantastic life and pure and native Central Malaysian residing.

Patin Tempoyak is a wonderful local food
Wonderful durian flavored soups, our desk resting within the shade of a mango tree.

Nasi Campur and Patin Tempoyak

The choices right here for dishes containing Tempoyak listed here are fairly just like these accessible at Gobang Maju Restaurant.

There are apparent variations in taste, however the very first thing you’ll discover right here is the type by which the whole lot is ready.

Begin by ordering at the very least yet one more of every of the Patin Tempoyak (the bitter soup made with catfish), and the Bakar Tempoyak as properly (durian chili jam grilled fish).

The house-style restaurant and the home-cooked flavors are apparent, this restaurant emits simply such a beautiful and stress-free countryside vibe. I used to be simply as excited arriving right here as I used to be for the primary meal, and we had been very comfortable to see what else Tempoyak had in retailer for us at this time.

Observe: Nasi Campur is the primary meals that locals are coming right here to eat – a mixture of cooked veggies, fried meats, and curries over rice – and so really there are even many extra choices for meals than simply these with Tempoyak when consuming right here at Selera Patin Bangau.

Amazing flavor combinations possible in this perfect example of home-style Malay food
Nasi Campur, with fish cake, eggplant, and beef spleen fried with native peppers

Blended Meals with Rice

Ever since first visiting Malaysia in 2009, I’ve been an addict of Nasi Campur.

Not solely is it only a attractive meal to place collectively, it additionally provides an eater a small view of any of a dozen native components and taste mixtures.

There’s even a little bit of textural attraction right here that’s solely current in tradition’s that use their palms to eat. The rice’s place below all of the meals provides the extra advantage of permitting your fingers to combine in, mash, and mix much more taste into each chew.

At this time I selected considered one of my all-time favourite nasi campur mixtures together with an enormous purple eggplant, which cooks till its virtually a mush of oils and taste inside, a fish cake that’s mashed so wonderful its virtually the consistency of bean curd, and eventually a scrumptious facet of beef spleen, cooking with a light curry sauce, and splendidly fiery native chilies.

If a fish tail could ever be called sexy, then its one that is swimming in a durian flavored soup
Virtually like a mermaid tail on this golden and bitter Gulai Tempoyak soup.

Tempoyak Patin

Whereas it was truthfully even thrilling simply to begin the identical meal once more, our tempoyak patin spicy and bitter soup right here was completely totally different than the one served at Gobang Maju.

Wanting to essentially evaluate the flavour, you must go in spooning proper from the serving bowl itself. Don’t fear, the factor that feels proper to do right here, can be the culturally applicable factor to do as properly (I requested).

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Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin

This model was a lot much less candy, rather less spicy as properly, however I believe they might have included simply extra pure salted durian flesh by itself to get such a style.

It’s exceptional, so totally different and but so recognizably Tempoyak-ey, it was actually a pleasure to eat this dish once more, even when it was only a few hours later.

To simply sat again and luxuriate in but once more the practically countless provide of flavors on this golden and bitter fish soup, so generously flavored with durian, I believe there have been a number of kings and different nation leaders who ate nowhere close to nearly as good as we did this present day.

Lastly, in case you are curious to make this your self by the way in which, I discovered an article right here that appears nice.

Observe:* It’s possible you’ll acknowledge this fish by one other title, as it’s eaten in lots of international locations around the globe. Served as ‘swai,’ within the USA, and ‘pangas‘ (just like the species title) throughout Europe. Be at liberty to depart different native names from your own home within the ‘feedback’ part beneath.

Pairing two crazy flavors together, Durian jam tempoyak and jengkol nut
A Champion chew – not for the faint of coronary heart! – Durian Jam and a Jengkol Nut

Dwelling-fermented Durian Jam – Tempoyak 2.0

For many who actually have that raging, uncontrollable urge to devour as a lot taste as a mouth may ever really feel – this glorious native restaurant additionally shares their very own recipe of contemporary and undiluted tempoyak with chili (sambal tempoyak)

Adjectives turn into a bit tougher to return by when describing a style that’s this daring.

I can’t consider I may say it, however durian itself is definitely considerably tame when evaluating it to the powers of Tempoyak.

My mouth has truthfully solely danced round edges ’til now, and whereas it’s exhausting to consider, its additionally clearly true – after just a few dozen superb dips into this new paradise of taste, I admit that my thoughts has been additional opened to what tastebuds can do.

An journey like none different awaits you right here, enterprise to ascend the lofty and pungent peaks for taste treasure, taste solely attainable with this native delicacy of ‘Tempoyak.’

Simple to make, and yielding earth shattering results
Sambal Tempoyak – made with nothing however salt, and pure durian flesh.

The Again Story

Analysis earlier than this journey to Malaysia ultimately led to assembly up with a number of native folks whereas there.

Touring to a brand new place (and even nation) is without doubt one of the privileges of life, particularly while you’re going there to discover it by means of meals.

When you have got a pal on the within nonetheless, a neighborhood contact who affords to point out you round, then its much more than a privilege – that state of affairs is an actual blessing.

On this case we just about hit the jackpot, assembly up with Mr. Sufian (native meals blogger), as he isn’t solely knowledgable concerning the issues all of us have to know, however this man is actually simply as loopy about meals as we’re.

In the end it was one of many higher days of our whole journey, however on this state of affairs too we had an added bonus! We had been secure from an all-time foodie-traveler’s concern, by no means as soon as needing to ask – “is that this restaurant going to be nearly as good because it appears on-line?”

We had been fortunate to fulfill up, hang around with, and now name this cool native blogger our pal, on-line he goes by the title Padu Beb!, and you may take a look at his nice channel right here.

The King of Fruits has a Facet-Kick

Durian is well-known all through SouthEast Asia as one of many extra (entertaining? one-of-a-kind?) issues {that a} human mouth may ever expertise. How then may one think about a style stronger on the market, one thing that might really high a Durian, THE King of Fruits?

Its a Malaysian native meals, and for all who’ve been enlightened to the style, its one that won’t permit a tongue to ever, ever return.

Do you typically end up obsessing over Durian?

If you end up obsessing often (and even each day throughout Durian season) then we clearly have one thing in frequent.

Nevertheless, even when this fruit holds no attraction for you, I might nonetheless extremely advocate each of those eating places. They’ve loads of different meals as properly that can simply blow your tastebuds by means of the roof – Malaysia’s meals is simply that incredible.

So – if you find yourself making journey plans to go to this stunning nation of Malaysia, make certain to not neglect to depart an area in your calendar, mark it out in yellow, and dedicate (at the very least one) whole day to Tempoyak.

Completely satisfied consuming everybody, and we want you an ideal journey to Malaysia. Catch you subsequent time.

Amazing meals of Tempoyak in Temerloh, Malaysia are a reason to travel for food
There’s Tempoyak, after which there’s LOCAL Tempoyak

Title: Selera Patin Bangau
Location: Google Maps (hyperlink)
Hours: 12pm to 4pm (closed Monday)
Value: Our Dwelling-cooking-style Tempoyak meal was 67RM (4 folks, US$16.40)