Recently, Singaporeans have been flocking in droves on their annual pilgrimage to snag a meal with royalty. Royalty of the fruit kind, that is.
Durian season has officially begun, and Singaporeans can’t seem to get enough of the pungent, spiky fruit. This year’s bumper harvest means durians are going for unbelievably cheap prices, and whether it’s the creamy and intensely yellow Mao Shan Wang or subtly coloured bittersweet Hong Xia, Singaporeans are snapping up durians of all kinds in an all-out frenzy.
Eating durians in their raw form is a unique experience, especially when you rinse with saltwater from the durian husk after consuming the flesh! But for the true durian aficionado, the feast doesn’t end here - Singapore has lots more to offer than just plain ol’ durian fruit, and beyond our shores, the king of fruits has even more to offer the adventurous foodie!
From sweet treats to savoury bites, here are 10 more ways to satisfy your durian addiction!
1. Durian puffs
A classic Singaporean dessert, durian puffs are a ubiquitous sight here. Bite-sized and not as messy as grappling with the real deal, these little pick-me-ups are perfect for the consumer looking for a quick and convenient bite. Besides, their diminutive size is perfect for the health-conscious wary about heaping on the calories. Durian puffs are so popular here, it is estimated that Singaporeans actually consume more durian puffs than actual durians!
Durian puffs are practically sold everywhere in Singapore - from simple bite-sized ones sold at your neighbourhood bakery to exorbitant jumbo-sized “power puffs”, this humble treat is available in a variety of forms and sizes.
While most of us are surely familiar with Emicakes, Four Seasons Durian and Goodwood Park hotel, there are hidden gems in the heartlands that offer quality durian puffs for cheaper prices too! Sunlife Durian Puffs and Pastries may not be a household brand, but their durian puffs have already hit the spot with many customers.
Get your little bites of durian delight from them via foodpanda! If you’re more enterprising, why not try making your own durian puffs instead?
2. Frozen durian desserts
In the sweltering heat, a durian feast is a sure recipe for "heatiness", sore throat and a bad bout of phlegm-induced cough. Instead of having it pure and raw, why not beat the heat and put a refreshing spin on the king of fruits with a wide assortment of frozen desserts? Enjoy a scoop of XO durian ice-cream or Mao Shan Wang durian ice-cream from local cafes, Ice Cream Frenzy and the Little Ice Cream Kafe respectively, have a serving of rich durian gelato or indulge in a bowl of durian-flavoured Taiwanese snow ice with Wei Xiang Wu.
Or, if the heat is simply too overbearing on those lazy bones of yours, simply get yourself a box of durian-flavoured potong and enjoy cool comfort in the convenience of your home.
3. Durian cakes
Everyone loves cake! Even more so when it’s a durian-flavoured one chock-full with thick layers of rich durian puree (shiok ah!). While plain vanilla durian cake still appeals to most Singaporeans, local bakeries have already come up with unique flavours such as Goodwood Park Hotel’s durian carrot-walnut cake and durian cappuccino cake.
In fact, durian cakes are so old-school, some bakeries have even come up with durian rolls! Four Seasons Durian’s Mao Shan Wang Rainbow Roll Cake contains actual Mao Shan Wang durian puree wrapped with a velvety layer of fluffy cake and finished with a thin layer of rich cream.
4. Durian chocolates
While this is something you’re more likely to find in the souvenir store, that doesn’t mean you should give this a miss! Many will expect a combination of rich chocolate and creamy durian to be sickeningly jelak, but contrary to expectations many have found it moderately sweet, with the durian puree as fragrant as ever! Bite-sized and not as overwhelming as the actual fruit, these chocolates are perfect for introducing first-timers to durian.
Instead of heading to the nearest souvenir store to shop (and pay) like a tourist, Mustafa has a wide range of durian chocolate pralines that come in an assortment of shapes and sizes.
5. Durian pengat
Got scammed into buying a poor-quality durian? Don’t throw it away just yet! Known to the laymen as durian porridge, durian pengat is a beloved traditional Malay recipe that turns sub-par durians into an irresistible dessert that pairs well with crispy apam balik, pancakes and even glutinous rice. While the colour may be a tad repulsive, one scoop of this classic kampung dessert is enough to get you hooked for life!
Even better, durian pengat is cheap and easy to make! Besides durian, all you need is good coconut milk, palm sugar (gula melaka) and fresh pandan leaves.
6. Durian goreng
If goreng pisang is too old-school for you, have a go at this deep-fried local specialty instead. Crispy and flavourful, one wonders how it’s even possible to coat the soft flesh of durian with light veil of flour and fry it till golden crispness without the whole thing disintegrating.
Need help figuring out how this unlikely snack tastes like? Think tempura custard with a strong durian fragrance.
7. Durian macarons
Talk about style meets substance - no dessert epitomises french elegance better than macarons, and with a generous dollop of rich D24 & MSW filling piped in the middle, this atas sweet treat will leave you screaming "SHIOK!"
If you refuse to fork out a fortune for these sweet treats not worth their weight in cash, why not make your own macarons? Get started with a macaron baking kit from piping bags from Lazada, and while you’re at it, try your hand at making durian puffs too!
8. Durian seafood fried rice
Durian in a savoury dish sounds unusual enough, but pairing it with seafood would seem like an inevitable culinary disaster. A marriage between two unlikely ingredients, this peculiar dish has proven to be a popular favourite with diners. Mouthwatering and surprisingly aromatic, proceed to chow down on this dish only if you have absolute disregard for "heatiness" and the sheer anguish of having a sore throat.
9. Durian-themed decor
If your love for durian goes beyond your tastebuds, why not profess your obsession for the king of fruits through your furniture and home decor? Show your guests how big of a durian fan you are with a durian-themed terrarium on your coffee table:
10. Durian feast overseas
So your voracious appetite for durian has led you to conquer them all - Mao Shan Wang, D24, Hong Xia, Chanee, XO, Jin Feng, D101, D88, D96... But the list doesn’t just end here! The durian varieties Singaporeans currently get to enjoy are mostly imports from Thailand and Malaysia. Other countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam also boast their own unique variants of durian, and you can’t claim to be a real durian connoisseur without having tried them all!
While familiar varieties like Hong Xia and D24 can still be found in local markets, the Philippines favour a mix of local hybrid durian variants such a Puyat, Alcon Fancy and Arancillo. In Vietnam, durians or sau rieng come in a wide assortment, including eccentrically named ones such as Ri6, Chin Hoa, Cuon Bo Co’m Sa’u (or cow house milk meat) and Kho Qua Xanh (green vegetable).
With so many durian varieties to try, what are you waiting for?
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