"Kuah Kuning" - Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Kembung

"Kuih Kuning" (or "yellow gravy" when directly translated) was the childhood term for the gulai tempoyak. Since my mom hailed from Perak, the gulai tempoyak that she and Opah would make was  Perak-style; one with the ikan kembung (chubs mackerel). It is the one and only dish that I would look forward to every time we go back to Taiping. That being mentioned, the Termerloh-style gulai tempoyak ikan patin is also equally tasty. One must experience the smell of the fermented durians emitting from the pot of the gulai tempoyak - absolutely mesmerizing!

Gulai tempoyak ikan kembung.


  • Chubs Mackerel (ikan kembung) - 4, cut into halves; the head and the tail parts
  • Lemongrass - 2
  • Tamarind Slice - 1
  • Tempoyak (fermented durian) - 4 to 5 tablespoons
  • Timun Ladang or cucumber - 1, sliced into chunks and mixed with turmeric powder
  • Water - plentiful, add on more if you wish to have more kuah or gravy
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - to taste
To be blended:
  • Chilies - 4
  • Bird's eye chilies - 5
  • Tumeric - 3

How to Make

  1. With a pestle, lightly crush the lemongrass near the base so that it is able to emit flavor and fragrance.
  2. In a pot (that has a cover), boil the water. Then, put the crushed lemongrass into the boiling water.
  3. Prepare the ingredients for blending. Before putting them all into a blender, cut them into smaller chunks. Add in a little bit of water, then blend.
  4. Pour the blended ingredients into the pot.
  5. Put in the cucumber/ timun ladang into the pot.
  6. Then, put in the tempoyak.
  7. Put in the tamarind slice. Stir. Then, put in salt and sugar. Stir for a while. Then, simmer on low heat, (put the cover on) for probably about 5 minutes.
  8. Then, put the ikan kembung into the pot. Let it simmer until boiling point.
This recipe was inspired and taken from Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Kembung | Perak-style bersama Kak Yan.

Re-posted by: The "Kuah Kuning" lover.


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