Durian fruit is a southeast Asian staple, but here in the U.S. it’s considered fairly exotic. Here are some tips on choosing and eating durian.
Durian fruit has a very strong odor, but the fruit itself is sweet, rich, and delicious.
The average Malaysian eats over 9kg of durian every year. That’s almost 20 pounds! The fruit is a little bit trickier to find here in the U.S., but with a little bit of persistence you can probably track it down. Specialty grocery stores, like Asian grocers, are probably your best bet. We have a large, international produce market here in Atlanta, and they often have it there.
If you can’t find it fresh, you can sometimes find it canned. I also was able to track down canned durian online.
Choosing a Ripe Durian
Durian is very tough to peel when it’s not ripe (and it doesn’t taste nearly as good!). To choose a ripe durian, look closely at the skin. It should almost seem like it’s ready to split along the seams in the skin.
Once you’ve selected a ripe durian, you need to peel it. This video from The Daily Kimchi shows you how to peel it:
How to Eat Durian
Of course, you can just chop up the fruit and eat it raw, but you can also incorporate durian into recipes! Since the fruit is very sweet, it’s often used in desserts. Here are a few to get you started:
- Make vegan durian ice cream.
- Add it to your smoothies.
- Whip up some durian sticky rice.
- Stir some chopped durian into muffins or cakes.
The flesh is the only edible part of the durian, so make sure you toss the skin and seeds into the compost.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by YIM Hafiz