Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak
(Silver Catfish in Durian Paste)

ikan patin masak tempoyak dishikan patin masak tempoyak dish

Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak is a popular and very savory dish in the state of Pahang. 

It is in fact a traditional dish popular in the inland riverine areas as the Patin fish is found in abundance in the rivers of Pahang, especially in the Sungai Pahang ("Pahang River"). 

But, like all Malay dishes, this dish is mostly not taken on its own but is eaten with rice.

ikan patin masak tempoyak dish pictureikan patin masak tempoyak at a stall

And the Malays normally eat rice with at least three different dishes, comprising of fish, meat (like chicken, beef, lamb, mutton) and vegetables.

If you come to Temerloh -- the home of the Patin -- then this Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak dish can be found in most of the restaurants and food-courts in the town.

The ikan patin masak tempoyak dish is not that complicated to cook, except that the durian paste ( "tempoyak" in Malay) must be available as it gives the special flavour and hence the name of the dish.

durians on treedurians on tree

The durian is a seasonal fruit in pahang, but the tempoyak (durian paste) can last for many months.

Many rural Malay households keep the tempoyak in big bottles for use during cooking, and they are normally sold and found at shops and Sunday markets in smaller amounts.

Well, to all the chefs and cooking buffs out there, here’s the typical recipe for the Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak (for one fish weighing about two kilograms).


ikan patin masak pedasikan patin masak tambah pedas
  • Patin fish (cleaned and cut into three or four pieces )
  • 4 or 5 tablespoon of tempoyak (durian paste)
  • 5 -10 pieces (depending on how hot you want it to be) of "chili padi" (small chillies with simmering hot taste) 
  • 3 pieces of "bunga kantan" 
  • 2-3 stalks of lemon-grass 
  • 5 pieces of "daun kesum" 
  • 3-4 cm of ginger 
  • 2 – 2 ½ cups of plain water 
  • Salt, cooking oil and fine sugar 


    ikan patin dish ready to eatikan patin ready to eat

    Warm the oil in the pot. Saute the chili padi and ginger and stir them for a while.

    Throw in the lemon-grass, bunga kantan and daun kesum into the pot.

    Then add water into the pot. Add the tempoyak and mix them all together. Stir until they all blend nicely.

    Then put in the pieces of patin fish.

    When the pot is boiling, put in salt and sugar according to taste.

    Boil until the fish is fully cooked.

    Smell the delicious aroma and hear your hunger pangs clammering!


    Serve with boiled rice, and then see the greedy ones mouthing them all before you can even start! 

    patin dish with rice and extra laukpatin dish with rice and appetizers

    Well, this dish is delicious when eaten with rice. For some Malays the gravy will taste more wonderful when salty soya sauce, or "kicap", is added. Or salted egg.

    This dish is also offered in some restaurants in Temerloh as a claypot dish, hot from the fire! 

    But all the same, the dish is as delicious as the "king of fruits" itself -- the durian.

    Try this dish yourself and tell me how it goes.

    And if you wish to try another tantalising ikan patin dish, check this Ikan Patin Asam Rebus recipe, and taste the difference!

    As always, from me...


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