How to Eat Durian
Known as The King of Fruits throughout its native Southeast Asia, durian (Durio zibethinus) is a savory-sweet fruit prized for its distinctly funky and aromatic flavor profile. There’s no getting around it - durian is not for everyone. Fellow fruit geeks with an adventurous spirit and an open mind fall in love with durian, funkiness and all.
The most difficult part about using durian is, quite frankly, the smell. To some, durian fruit’s pungent fragrance is an intoxicating aroma of pungent cheese, light berry sweetness and sulphury aromatic vegetables. To others, it has the offensive stench of sweatsocks. We’re here to tell you, durian doesn’t have to be repulsive. It’s all about getting good quality durian and FruitStand is here to help!
Suffice it to say, everyone’s experience with durian is unique and it’s a taste worth acquiring. Here’s how to prepare durian for just about any recipe.
Preparing A Durian
Preparing durian takes some know-how, and is easy to do with a little practice.
First, durian fruit flesh must be removed from its thorny husk. The easiest way to slice open a durian pod is by using a sharp knife to carefully score the rind along its natural seams at about a quarter of an inch deep. The seams on a durian rind are easy to spot and look like valleys between elongated thorny mounds. Carefully slice the seam around one of the pod mounds. Then, pry the husk apart using your fingers to release one of the sections of fruit.
Inside the durian pod you’ll see the inner compartments called carpels that hold hefty pillows of durian flesh called arils. Arils of durian are shaped like huge beans with smooth cream to buttery yellow flesh. The flesh of durian has a dense, eggy custard texture and a richness that’s both starchy and slightly juicy.
Each aril of durian flesh has a large seed inside that should be separated from the flesh for cleaner fruit preparation. Durian seeds are only edible when cooked, providing a starchy component to durian recipes. Durian rinds are inedible and should be discarded into the compost bin. The most common preparations of durian seeds are roasting and boiling.
Durian flesh can be separated into chunks and eaten raw, used in juices and smoothies, and desserts. Predominantly used in recipes for cakes and other sweet desserts, durian is delicious in treats like sticky rice and ice cream. Durian is also enjoyed in many Southeast Asian cuisines in savory dishes.
Here are some of the easiest, most common ways of eating raw durian:
- Add frozen durian chunks to juices, smoothies and shakes for a nutrient-packed creamy creamy texture and unique flavor.
- Roughly chop raw durian into small to medium-sized chunks as a snack or to top bowls of yogurt and granola.
- Enjoy durian as a raw frozen dessert in ice cream and sorbet.
Durian is most often used in sweet applications, making it a great fruit for baking, pastry and candy making. In many Southeast Asian cuisines, durian is also used in savory dishes for its pungent, savory-sweet flavor.
- Pastry: Durian can be baked into cakes, pastries, creams and custards, sticky rice and more.
- Confection: In Southeast Asia, durian is a popular flavor in candies and sweets.
- Curries: Rich curries are a perfect canvas for the aromatic and funky durian fruit flavor.
- Seeds: Durian seeds are only edible when cooked, and are usually boiled or roasted until soft.
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