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.