Tempoyak Pucuk Ubi

Tempoyak (fermented durian) is another unbelievably simple yet very delicious Malaysian/ Indonnesian dish. The ladies selling kampong vegetables at the market recommended using pucuk ubi (cassava/tapioca leaves) as the main ingredient for a vegan alternative. This is certainly a favourite considering that I have never ever taken a liking to durians and still haven’t.  Raw tempoyak is usually sold in our local markets and so I have not had the need ferment ripe durians. However, for those residing outside of these parts, and want to attempt it, the fermentation is incredibly simple, however, as it can be difficult to come by durian or tempoyak in most places, I may soon post a coconut alternative known as “masak lemak”. You will need mortar and pestle for this recipe and this is an oil-free vegan recipe. This recipe was written down under the tutelage of Kakak Is. I have hyperlinked photos in recipe.


  • 1 bundle of cassava leaves (tapioca leaves)
  • 1 cup of raw tempoyak
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tiny red onions (I accidentally omitted the onions and it worked)
  • 1 tiny knob of ginger
  • 2-3 tiny knobs of fresh turmeric
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 1 sliver of galangal
  • 4 birds eye chili
  • 1 mug of water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Boil cassava leaves in a pot for about 15-20 minutes until wilted and well-cooked.
  2. While leaves are boiling, add ginger, fresh turmeric, onions, birds eye chilies and garlic to the mortar and pound until it is a fine paste.
  3. Lightly pound lemongrass and galangal in mortar.
  4. Once leaves are cooked. drain water with sieve and set aside.
  5. Add a mug of water to pot or wok, along with raw tempoyak and all pounded ingredients.
  6. Mix all ingredients well.
  7. Leave ingredients to simmer on a medium-low heat.
  8. Once the sauce has thickened, add cassava leaves and mix well.
  9. Add a pinch of salt or as much as you like.
  10. Leave to simmer on low heat for another 5-10 minutes until sauce is thick and fragrant.
  11. Once thick and all ingredients are mixed well, remove and serve.

Laks Indrakaran

Kajang, Malaysia

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