It is a sweet or sour alcoholic paste and can be used directly as a food or in traditional recipes. Tapai can be made from a variety of carbohydrate sources, but typically from cassava, white rice, or glutinous rice. Fermentation is performed by a variety of moulds including Aspergillus oryzae, Rhizopus oryzae, Amylomyces rouxii or Mucor species, and yeasts including Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Saccharomycopsis fibuliger, Endomycopsis burtonii and others, along with bacteria. Tapai is also used to make alcoholic beverages.
Tapai is made by inoculating a carbohydrate source with the required microorganisms in a starter culture. This culture has different names in different regions, shown in the table below. The culture can be naturally captured from the wild, by mixing rice flour with ground spices (include garlic, pepper, chili, cinnamon), cane sugar or coconut water, slices of ginger or ginger extract, and water to make a dough. The dough is pressed into round cakes, about 3 cm across and1 cm thick, and left to incubate on trays with banana leaves under and over them for two to three days. They are then dried and stored, ready for the next step.
Ragi Tapai is used to ferment different types of carbohydrates such as cassava, cooked white rice or glutinous rice, and can even be prepped with sweet potatoes
The general process is to wash and cook the target food, cool to about 30°C, mix in some powdered ragi tapai, and rest in covered jars for one to two days. With cassava and sweet potato, the tubers are washed and peeled before cooking, then layered in baskets with ragi tapai sprinkled over each layer.
The finished tapai will taste sweet with a little alcohol and can be consumed, or left for several days more to become sour.
We have fresh Tapai starter cakes at our web store...
Tapai(Tape) Starter can be used with White rice to make tapai nasi, or with sweet rice to make Tapai Ketan, with sticky rice to make Tape Ketan/Tapai Pulut or with Cassava to make Tapai ubi Kayu
Tapai and its variants are usually consumed as it is; as a sweet mildly-alcoholic snacks, to accompany tea in the afternoon. The sweet fermented tapai however, are often used as the ingredient in a recipe of certain dishes. Sundanese cassava peuyeum is the main ingredient for colenak; a roasted fermented cassava tapai served with kinca a sweet syrup made of grated coconut and liquid palm sugar. Colenak is Sundanese portmanteau of dicocol enak which translates to "tasty dip". Tapai uli is a roasted block of bland-tasted ketan or pulut (glutinous rice) served with sweet tapai ketan or tapai pulut. The peuyeum goreng or tapai goreng, or known in Javanese as rondho royal is another example of Indonesian gorengan (assorted fritters),
which is deep fried batteredcassava tapai.
In beverages, tapai, both cassava or glutinous rice, might be added into sweet iced concoction desserts, such as es campur
and es doger.
Tapai/Tape culture starter above. Culture is mixed with cooked rice or cassava to make all the traditional tapai dishes
Basic Ingredients Needed to make Tapai:
Tapai/tape vender in West Java selling their wares
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