Durian is an unusual fruit, not just in the taste and smell but also the hard-outer shell that protects the soft flesh inside. This hard-outer shell will keep a lot of animals from getting at the fruit, and maybe help to keep some of the smell at bay, but will also require a little effort for you to open. You might like to check out our article on: What Does Durian Taste Like? Which describes the unique taste of Durian.
To cut open a durian you will need a sharp knife that has a wide blade. Durian fruit has natural seams running down the sides of the fruit from top to bottom. These seams separate the different compartments where the seeds and flesh are found. There are usually five to six different seams or compartments to the fruit. Using the sharp knife, slice down the seams to open the compartment. Do the same for each seam, using your hands to pry open the compartment once the knife has made the initial cut. Be careful of the sharp spikes on the hard-outer shell when you are prying open the compartments with your hands.
Because the durian shell has so many sharp spikes you need to be a little careful at getting into the fruit. A prick from the spike can be a little painful so take your time or wear some gloves if you are new to cutting open a durian.
Please also check out our video below showing you the process of cutting open a fresh durian. The durian in the video is a graveolon durian, which happens to be a favourite of mine. They tend to be smaller and easier to open, however, the spike is sharper, longer and thinner so you especially have to be careful.
How To Open A Durian Step By Step:
- Place the durian on a flat stable surface
- Take a sharp knife and cut down the natural seam of the fruit from top to bottom
- Being careful of the spikes, pull apart the cut seams to expose the fruit
- Repeat the above process for each seam
- Put the exposed fruit pods onto a plate and eat
If you have bought your durian from a street market then often the seller will open the durian fruit for you by slicing the compartments and seams most of the way. When you get home you can then easily pull apart the compartments with very little effort with your hands to expose the fruits.
This was how we ate our durian every day while travelling.
Just a note, you don’t want to cut too deeply into the fruit as you will then cut into the flesh. So just deep enough to separate the seam.
If you are not so fortunate to be able to buy fresh durian because you perhaps don’t live in a tropical country where they grow, you may still be able to enjoy the fruit by visiting your Asian local store. I was still able to buy frozen durian and I can assure you it tasted great still. It was a little pricy, I paid somewhere around $13 for a few frozen pieces of Monthong durian. But I have to say that the taste was really great, like sweet and creamy.
How To Eat Durian
Eating durian is the easy part once you have exposed the flesh. Most will just scoop up a pod and eat it, and spit out the seed. Because the texture is often soft and creamy you may get your hands a little messy, but that’s part of the fun.
Some may decide to hold their nose while eating it to avoid the smell but trust me, you will still smell the fruit from inside your mouth. It can be pretty strong and off-putting, so I recommend checking our article on: What Does Durian Taste Like? Where we show you the best-tasting durians for beginners. These durians ( and I believe there are a few hundred different varieties) are the least smelly and sweetest durians available.
If you prefer to eat durian in a different way then there are a number of different products available like icecream. This is my favourite way of eating durian after the fresh raw way. Another common way to eat durian is in a smoothie. This can somewhat mask the smell and provide you with an easier initial introduction to this unique fruit.
I would recommend eating a little durian every day if you have access to it fresh. It is so nutritious and beneficial for you that it is called the ‘King of Fruits’. One average-sized durian can supply around 1350 calories, so unless you are trying to put on weight then don’t eat too much of this fruit.
I actually would eat at least half a durian a day as I was on a fruit diet and it was the easiest way to keep my weight normal due to the carbohydrates and good fats. If I didn’t eat this fruit I would have lost so much weight and been too skinny. So thanks to durian I was able to maintain my body weight while on a completely raw fruit diet. This was more than enough incentive for me to get used to and love this fruit.
What Part Of Durian Do You Eat?
The part of durian you eat is the soft creamy yellow or orange pods inside the compartments of the hard shell. The flesh is gathered around a seed, which you can remove as you eat the flesh. The seeds are actually poisonous when raw due to the cyclopropene fatty acids.
These fatty acids are toxic, and may also be carcinogenic, making it dangerous to human health1
However, cooking the seed will make them edible and apparently is highly nutritious. The durian seed contains nutrients such as Fiber, Zinc, Calcium and Carbohydrate. So rather than throw your seeds away, try boiling them.
Remove the outer skin once boiled and eat.
The taste of boiled durian seeds has been described as a potato without any flavour. These boiled seeds can be sliced up thinly and fried like chips.
They make an extremely nutritious snack.
Finally, if you have overripe durian then don’t throw them away, rather you can make them into smoothies or even bake them into muffins or make jam from them.
Whatever your way of eating durian, it certainly lives up to its name ‘King of Fruits’
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