How to open Durian and more

The king of fruits, it’s one that you will love or dislike. During the season for the fruit Durian in Indonesia which is from October – February it’s sold almost everywhere. Street, supermarkets, back of a truck and I can imagine this goes the same for everywhere in South East Asia.

Over the years I have bought plenty of wrong ones: they were overripe, rotten or the smell was off. I am here now to share my experience so you can choose the right fresh durian that tastes as it should.

But first enjoy this short about Durian:

In the short you can quickly see what I am looking for when I am chosing a Durian: Green brown of colour, less spikes and a pungent smell. How to open the Durian is fairly easy. Use a knife (which is not thin or weak!) and start with an incision at the bottom of the fruit. Split the slices carefully with two hands. If the pulp is a bit soft it’s a good sign. Too soft or hard are not so good signs. Continue a short read to learn more about Durian.

Durian fruit seller on the road
Durian Seller on the road in Bali

Just writing about this and looking at the pictures I have, I can smell it again. Can you? Fresh ones smell very sweet and strong. From this seller, I bought 3 pieces. First I want to show you which one I did not pick

rotten durian, don't chose this
Durians that are rotten inside

Durians that look damaged on the outside are most likely also damaged on the inside. The fruit will not taste very good. In some cases they might turn grey color on the inside prematurely. The pulp will have an alcoholic and bitter taste.

durian with alcohol
grey color Durian, this one taste like alcohol and is more bitter

Did you know that Durian fruit is processed in snacks which are suitable as souvenirs to bring back home. In Semarang they make Moaci cakes with durian flavor as a souvenir! Delicious!

Buying the wrong Durian

What can happen if you bought the wrong durian? It’s very simple, it’s not as tasty and can even become inedible. Even when you purchase a durian that is yet to become ripe it’s not that delicious or taste. You will notice unripe Durian because of the smooth and harder texture of the pulp. The taste comes with a light crunch. It’s best to wait a day or so before consuming this durian.

My Haul

3 pieces of Durian
small, medium and medium large

I bought 3 pieces for 25k IDR (about 1.65 USD). A cheap haul. During the season a local Durian tree of around 8-10 years old is mature and between 25-30 meters in height. It will hold several dozen of fruits between 1-3kg. (Source Wikipedia Durian). So hurray for me, during season it’s very cheap!

Durian tree
Photo credit: Kaeru on / CC BY

Chosing the right one

The fruit I picked out, have no black spots or holes. The color is between a light brown to green color like in the picture. There should not be a lot of spikes on the outside, this is very characteristic for a good durian. Here’s a comparison. Guess first which one you is the better choice.


In the picture, you can see the left one, a bit smaller has a lot more spikes compared to the right one. Also, the color is not one to pick out.

So to summarize how to pick it out:

  • Spikes should be as minimum as possible
  • Color should be between green and light-brown
  • The fruit should not have any damage on the outside like holes.
  • Pungent smell

Taste of Durian

It’s very hard to explain the taste of this exotic fruit. Many are already repulsed by the smell as it simply smells like stinky feet or something else unwashed. But to me, with fresh fruit, it smells very sweet.

You can split the fruit up on 5 slices. There is a silk-like moist pulp inside covering the seed. The pulp is the edible part

Inside the Durian.
Inside of Durian an 6.5″ phone for size comparison

There you have it. Eat fruit meat around the seed and enjoy the tropical taste of this fruit. Here is how you open it. Make incisions so you can split it into slices.

Popular recipes for Durian I will soon try out

freezing durian
Saving and freezing my durian

As an experiment I tried this. To test if the taste would be the same. I can tell you that this experiment is a success! you can safe your durian this way and if you are adventurous you can try the following:

  • Durian Pancake
  • Durian Cake
  • Juice

I already had some biscuits, premade and bought in the supermarkets. It had the smell but not the taste. So I hope in the near future I hope I can make tasty snacks out of my leftovers.

Health Benefits

It’s a fruit so it should have vitamins, minerals and some more benefits to us right? Per 100 gr of pulp

  • Carbs: 27.09 g
  • Energy: 615 kJ
  • Fat: 5.33 g
  • Protein: 1.47 g
  • Fiber: 3.8 g
  • Vitamin A: 44 IU
  • Thiamine (B1): 0.374 mg (33% Daily Value)
  • Riboflavin: (B2) 0.2 mg 17% DV
  • Niacin (B3): 1.074mg 7% of the DV
  • Vitamin (B6): 0.316mg 26% dv
  • Folate (B9): 36 ug 22% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 19.7mg 24% of the Daily Value (DV)

Next to being rich in vitamins it also offers plenty of minerals like Calcium, copper, iron magnesium manganese, phosphorus potassium, and zinc.

Even though 65% of the pulp in water, it’s still a very nutritional fruit.

Other benefits: Reducing cancer risk, preventing heart disease, and fighting off infection. (Source: Healthline)

Debunking Myths:

Durian with beer kills

Not true! Durian with beer does not kill, just don’t overdo it.

Jackfruit is the same as Durian

jackfruit is not durian

Not true. However the shape and size kind of look similar, it is not true. The taste, smell, and whole sensation is different. I never hear anyone saying that Jackfruit, the stinky fruit. It’s durian the stinky yet delicious fruit.

Durian during pregnancy

According to BabyCenter it is ok to eat it during pregnancy and it can be beneficial. I got paranoid during pregnancy, it’s the hormones. I didn’t do it myself out of fear for alcohol and other stories I’ve heard. After all, it’s a bit taboo for Asians.

Enjoy the fruit, don’t overdo it. If you eat too much of 1 thing it can’t be too good. so vary it up. Also try to eat other fruits! I hope it was helpful for you that you know which fruit to chose.

About Fleurdwi Cooking

Hi, my name is Dwik. My hobby is cooking, I have worked in an Indonesian-Chinese restaurant for 4 years giving me different experiences regarding types of cuisine. I created this website to share my experiences about food and also the recipes that I have uploaded on my youtube channel Fleurdwi Cooking If you are a YouTuber with a cooking channel, you are welcome to join to write your recipe, where the recipe will be linked to your channel automatically. For more detailed information, please read the About section. Please send an email if you want to join us. Thank You

Leave a Comment