How to Eat Durian Fruit

Durian Fruit
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  • 01 of 10

    Durian Fruit—an Interesting Tropical Delight

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    Looking somewhat like a sea urchin, durian is a unique tropical fruit mainly found in Asian countries. It has been called the King of Fruits because of its enormous size (about 1 foot long), weight, and the amount of fruit it contains. Usually, durian is either loved at first taste or hated. Its fruit is sweet and buttery in texture, with very little juice—it may remind you of a creamsicle. Durian can be eaten fresh or used to make various types of desserts.

    The surprising thing about Durian is...MORE that it has a famously strong smell—so much so, it is banned from most public places in Southeast Asia, including hospitals and trains. When traveling, it's always humorous for Westerners to see a "no durian" sign posted beside the "no smoking" signs!

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  • 02 of 10

    Shopping For Durian

    Thailand is the world's largest exporter of durian and the fruit is sold in Asian markets or Asian grocery stores here in the U.S. Look for light-colored spikes without any dark brown patches or bits of white between the spikes (signs of over-ripeness). Durian fruit freezes well and is often exported and sold frozen. Store your durian in the refrigerator or a cool place until you're ready to open it.

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  • 03 of 10

    Make a Cut in the Top of the Durian

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    In order to cut the fruit, place durian stem-side down on a clean cutting surface. Using a large, sharp knife, make a cut through the thick skin in the top of the durian, about 3 to 4 inches long. As you cut, pull back the skin with your other hand, as shown.

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  • 04 of 10

    Pull Apart the Skin

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    Now put your knife down and use your hands to open the durian. The skin will rip fairly easily (just be careful not to poke yourself against the spikes). You should be able to open the durian completely now. Lay the two halves down on your cutting board.

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  • 05 of 10

    Remove the Fruit

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    Using a spoon (or your hands), remove the large 'pods' of fruit. Place the fruit on a plate.

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  • 06 of 10

    Remove Stones from Fruit

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    Before eating or serving, it's best to remove the stones. In some Southeast-Asian countries, these stones are boiled or roasted and eaten.

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  • 07 of 10

    Cut Open the Other Sections

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    As the saying goes, "But wait, there's more!" Use your knife to cut along the seam down the center of the inside "shell" and you'll find more sections of fruit. 

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  • 08 of 10

    Removing Additional Sections

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    Remove additional sections of fruit with a spoon or your fingers and add to the plate.

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  • 09 of 10

    Washing Your Hands

    Durian Fruit
    Copyright Darlene A. Schmidt

    Working with durian can leave your hands smelling of durian all day long. Here's a tip: running hot water through (or in and around) the durian skin creates a very mild lye water, which when combined with soap, helps gets rid of the smell. 


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  • 10 of 10

    Eating the Fruit of Your Labor—Literally

    Ice Cream
    Andrew Unangst/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

    Since durian is a tropical fruit from Southeast Asia, it's no surprise that many recipes are from that part of the world. Give Laotian sticky rice with durian a try, a delicious dessert with coconut milk. Or perhaps a homemade ice cream flavored with durian—a nice change from vanilla!

    And the best part is that durian is very healthy, with high concentrations of vitamins and minerals. It is unique among fruit in that it contains the B-complex vitamins (great for vegetarians!). It is also rich...MORE in dietary fiber and high in vitamin C, potassium, essential amino acid, copper, iron, and magnesium.