We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Tapai?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tapai is a dish served mostly in East and Southeast Asia and the Philippines. It consists of a starch such as rice that has been fermented for days until it develops a sweet flavor and the sugars have been converted into alcohol. Sweet tapai is considered a treat or dessert in many regions and can be complemented with other sweet foods such as coconut or dried fruits. Although the dish is usually made from glutinous rice, it also can be made by fermenting regular rice, cassava root, plantains or sweet potatoes. When completed, the tapai is traditionally wrapped in banana leaves for storage or sale at a market.

One aspect of the preparation of tapai that gives it a unique character is the fermentation process. By using a collection of bacteria, yeast and molds, the starches in the food are converted into other forms, such as sugar and alcohol. This is most often done by using a product known as ragi. Ragi is a chunk of dried, uncooked rice that has been powdered and mixed with water and various other ingredients so it can support yeast and bacteria, creating a dry, solid starter. The ragi is used by crushing it into the food to be fermented, transferring all of the starter cultures that are held within it.

The types of foods used to make tapai usually have a high amount of starches. This is because the starch is what the cultures use as food and what is converted to provide flavor. The chosen food, whether it be rice, potatoes or cassava root, is first cooked until it is soft and the natural elements inside have developed. After the food has cooled to room temperature, the ragi is added and the entire mixture is placed in a container, where it is allowed to ferment for three days or more.

As the tapai ferments, sugars develop to make it sweeter and it also begins to excrete a liquid that gathers at the bottom of the container. The liquid is actually an alcoholic rice wine and the amount produced is directly related to the amount of starch in the food that is fermenting. The longer the fermentation is allowed to progress, the more alcoholic the tapai will become. There is a point during fermentation when the character of the food will change and cause the sweet taste to turn into a sour taste as certain acids begin to dominate the mixture. Although some people find this desirable, others feel it means the tapai has spoiled.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.