Unripe durian as vegetable ? That’s right, make no mistake about that. My late mom used to cook this dish for us during our childhood.
She would use lots and lots of durians for making durian kueh, a local durian toffee, the unripe ones for cooking as vegetable and the half-ripen durians to be eaten raw. During peak seasons, we always had durians for free. Those were the days when wild fruits were abundant and boatloads of durians were a common sight along the rivers. Durians piled up on the kitchen floor and unripe durians were easily found and mostly were given free by the natives.
For decades I have not seen vendors selling unripe durians in local markets but this year 2012 was indeed an unusual year. The year 2012 saw a big harvest of durians together with dabai, the jungle olives everywhere in the land of hornbills, Sarawak. As a result of an excess supply of durians, unripe durians are sold in markets without the shells at RM 10 per kg.
Select big and fleshy unripe durians from the market and the next step is to get rid of the seeds and peel off the bitter skin of the seeds attached to the flesh.
Cut the pulp into bite size and stir-fry with cangkuk manis and the dish is as shown in the last picture below. Be careful not to add too much water at a time otherwise the dish will become soggy.
Just for the information, this dish is usually not sold in food outlets in Sarawak. This is due to lack of supply of unripe durians. Good quality durians do give a kick to its taste and flavor. The first picture shown in this post is a dish of yellow flesh unripe durians stir-fried with cangkuk manis a.k.a star gooseberry in English.
The picture below shows a picture of cangkuk manis vegetable in my garden. Its scientific name is sauropus andogynus. In India it is called malay cheera. Click here for more information about cangkuk manis.
The picture below shows another dish of ordinary unripe durians cooked in the same way.
- 1 kg of unripe durian – prepare the flesh as instructed earlier and cut into bite size.
- 150 g of cangkuk manis – Pick the leaves. Clean and crush the leaves with both hands. Chop finely.
- 2 chillies – cut into bite size.
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- a pitch of salt
1)Heat up 2 tbs of oil in the wok.
2) Fry the unripe durian till slightly brown.
3) Keep on adding a bit of water at a time to cook the unripe durian till soft.
4) Add cangkuk manis with chillies.
5) Continue adding little bit of water now and then until the leaves are well done.
6) Season with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of light soy sauce.
How does it taste? Well, it tastes like creamy sweet potatoes with a faint aroma of durian. Some people deep-fry slices of unripe durians instead. I am yet to try. Have to wait for another season of durian. My next post will be on durian kueh or lempok (lempuk).
Woo La La La………
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Copyright claim – Do not crop any pictures from malaysiavegetarianfood.com.Do not share our pictures without any watermarked signature on them.Excerpts from our articles to be credited to malaysiavegetarianfood.com.