What is better than Durian? Fermented Durian of course! That's not a direct comparison though. It's kinda like: You like to eat grapes but you enjoy the wine better. Except in this case it's reversed: The main staple is fresh Durian, but fermented it'll make great accompaniment to your meals of steamed rice and other dishes.
Fermented Durian is known locally and in Indonesia as Tempoyak. It is added to sambal chilli or pounded chilly paste and mixed with your rice and eaten with fish (normally salted fish), ulam (salads of raw cucumbers and other shoots). It improves the taste of the food and your appetite a hundred folds.
How to make Tempoyak:
- Peel flesh of durian (normally left-over or overripe durians)
- Add half a teaspoon of salt for every 500g durian flesh and mix thoroughly
- Spoon into a screw cap glass jar, and leave aside at room temperature (25-30 degrees C) to ferment for two to three days. Transfer to the fridge after it has fermented.
Tempoyak is also used in cooking fish dishes like gulai tempoyak ikan patin (soup of Patin fish - a type of catfish), in curries and seafood.
I've found a couple of videos that depict the making of Tempoyak and the fish dish (with thanks to Malaysian Recipes and janelgrace). Enjoy!