Tempoyak Grilled Chicken

Tempoyak is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of things – Think fermented durian, and think yellow goo with pungent soury wafts that could explode at the most inopportune times ~ Something Maurina and Jay, and a whole host of ASEAN professors and delegates found out rather unexpectedly.

As Maurina’s rightly suggested, Tempoyak’s meant to be a dip for Ambuyat, rather than a haircare product.

But Jay, a US-trained chef, undeterred by the tempoyak ambush, creatively used it as a marinade for his bbq with unsuspecting friends back in Bangkok. So this is the tempoyak going international, and a fusion that Jay reported to have been rather successful.

Two years on, last week I finally decided to give Jay’s creation a go (Sorry, Jay, I always had faith in you), and marinated some chicken breasts in tempoyak. Truth be told, it stank so bad it gave me nosebleed. But after two hours of resting (the chicken, not me), and slow grilling over wood charcoal, the results were, if I must say so myself, nyaman… the chicken was really moist, and the tempoyak marinade actually worked very well.

The mere mention of ‘Tempoyak’ may still send shivers down the ASEAN delegates’ spine, but perhaps this perfectly grilled chicken might ease the diplomatic tension and entice them back here. There’s hope still for world peace.

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Angkat Bakul Sikit

But not really. I mean, ‘angkat bakul’ is technically ‘boasting’ or in current lingo, to ‘big yourself up’…
which is not what I’m doing in this post because I’m letting Chester Keaseberry do that for me. He was featured in the ProjekBrunei.com on 28 August 2010 (I know I’m a bit lagging) and here’s a screen grab:

And amongst other interesting things he talked about, including his new pair of Vibram Five Fingers, Chester also recommended two blogs for people to check out, one of which was August13th.

Special mentions like these and kind praises from readers who bother visiting make me suddenly feel all warm and fuzzy inside which only I feel ~ it’s a bit like peeing in my pants, not that it ever happened…

So, thanks, Ches, and everyone else reading! Let me return the favour and direct you to Ches’ wonderful take on life as he sees it.

More posts soon!

My Last Supper…

… tapi eksenku. But this was officially my last Raya Open House serving for Raya 2010.

Got an invite to a modest Open House at Ded’s place to mark the close of Syawal on its final day last week.

I think I’ve been good this year, not much eating too much, but not that I’ve been going around too much either. Raya for me means 4 days of being stuck at home receiving a constant stream of guests, tapi inda kenal semua. So no attending invitations then, but subsequent invites, kalau ada, are fine.

This year’s cravings for me have been the Rendang Daging and Ayam Masak Merah (Chicken in red sauce).

And irony of it all? I only got my wishes fulfilled on the the last two days of Raya. I mean rendang is rendang lah, but there’s a particular ‘oomph’ that I always look for in a rendang, the right balance of spices and coconut creaminess and the melting daging. Not your run-of-the-mill rendang eh. So I got my rendang only on the Thursday, the second last day of Syawal. And I finally sunk my teeth into Ayam Masak Merah with that “oomph” on the Friday~ chicken pieces on the bone, cooked to a tooth-chipping hardness, and smothered in tangy and spicy tomatoey goodness. With a hint of aniseed lagi. That’s what you see in the pic above, as well as spicy sambal, and some very colourful Nasi Hujan (Raindrop Rice), which I’m not normally a fan of, but this being the final day of Raya, it’d simply be rude not to.

Look what I found!

It’s ironic that I found time to blog on the first morning of raya (while escaping the madness of Raya pertama), but not since, and more ironic, I’ve managed to do just that today, the last day of Syawal.

This raya season has actually been quite low-key for me, no openhouse or cooking for the usual suspects, and in fact managed to wedge in a much-anticipated trip to Bali and Singapore in Week 2 of raya, sekaligus missing out on a few invites. But Bali kali ahh! come on! I’ll tell ya more about that next time.

But what usually happens during the last few days of Syawal is people cramming Openhouses in the final few days, and you’re faced with 3 or 4 different invites to lunch, tea or dinner!

Yesterday alone, I had four to go to. So I was at the last house in mid-conversation with the host when I suddenly felt the urge to wipe my fingers, so naturally I reach into the right pocket of my baju melayu, and wrapped by fingers around what I thought was a squished up tissue paper ~ but something didn’t feel right!

So I’m looking down and to my horror I see this!

Wadapak?? It was a mostly-eaten roti paun bun!! How on earth did it get there?? More importantly, how long
had I been carrying that bloody bun around during my tour of makan? And I can’t quite recall seeing any roti paun bun in any of the houses I’d visited. Patut tah urang lari pasal ada bau roti… maula sa!

(More Raya posts coming soon)