Food Industry News

Try before Die: 10 Different Types of Durian & How to Tell Them Apart

Durian season is here and Food Experts at Ricebowl Asia would like to teach our readers on how to correctly identify (and not get cheated) when it comes to buying Durian.  Here are a list of 10 most popular varieties of durians from Malaysia and how you can tell them apart.

1. Musang King

Other names: Butter durian, Cat Mountain King, Rajah Kunyit, Mao Shan Wang

Colour: Bright yellow

Taste Notes: Durian connoisseurs love its bittersweet taste and sticky, creamy texture. The flesh can be sweet and bitter within the same fruit.

Origins: Kelatan, Pahang and Johor

Not to be confused but Musang King has other names like Cat Mountain King, Rajah Kunyit and Mao Shan Wang (猫山王) too! Due to its smooth, buttery and bright yellow flesh, it has earned itself another title of being the Butter Durian where all durian lovers are fond of!


2. Golden Phoenix

Other names: Jin Feng

Colour: Pale yellow-white

Taste notes: Bitter with a more watery texture and strong pungent smell.

Origins: Pahang, Johor

Just like its mandarin name Jin Feng (凤) , the durian has thin and spiky thorns that looks similar to a Phoenix. The flesh has a slightly lighter shade of yellow, and not as firm to hold compared to Musang King.

The durian flesh is bittersweet and has a stronger smell compared to the other durian species.


3. XO

Colour: Pale yellow

Taste Notes: Bitter and extremely soft, fleshy meat with an almost alcoholic taste.

Origins: Johor, Genting, Cameron Highlands

The name XO is derived from its fermented taste and is extremely soft to hold. For those that would like to try their ‘not so typical sweet durian’, this is one of the alternative as the durian meat has a bitter taste to it.


4. D24

Other names: Sultan

Colour: Pale yellow

Taste Notes: Very creamy and bitter.

Origins: Johor, Pahang, Cameron Highlands

The D24 durian is also known as Sultan Durian and is one of the well known durian species alongside Musang King. The flesh is golden yellowish in colour, creamy texture with a bittersweet taste—A Heavenly Combination!


5. D13

Colour: Deep burnt orange

Taste Notes: Sweet, less fibrous than most durians and not very strong in taste. This durian has large seeds. Good for people trying durians for the first time

Origins: Johor, Segamat

Unlike the other species mentioned above, the D13 durian is brown orange in colour. The flesh is sweet, less fibrous, with large seeds and easier to eat.

Most importantly, the D13 durian is recommended by bloggers for those first time trying, as the smell is less pungent.


6. D1

Colour: Pale yellow

Taste Notes: Small seeds, milky taste.

Origins: Johor

For those that prefer durian with more flesh, the D1 durian is definitely one of the choices and it has smaller seeds compared to the others. The milky taste and slight crunchiness will make you crave for the fruit even more!


7. D101

Colour: Orange

Taste Notes: Easy on the palate, slightly sweet and creamy.

Origins: Pahang, Johor

D101 durians is less sweet but creamy and it will not affect the overall taste of the meat!


8. Red Prawn

Other names: Hong Xia, Ang Hay, Udang Merah

Colour: Orangey-red

Taste notes: Sticky with a sweet aftertaste.

Origins: Pahang, Johor

The name Red Prawn is derived from its striking orange red flesh compared to the other durian species. The Orange Red Durian also has a name in mandarin called Hong Xia (红虾)

The flesh is sweet but a bit more sticky, so be sure to clean up thoroughly after enjoying it!


9. Green Bamboo

Other names: Qing Zhu

Colour: Pale yellow with a slight greenish tinge

Taste Notes: Sweet with fibrous flesh.

Origins: Johor

The Name Green Bamboo, also known as Qing Zhu (青竹) in mandarin, derived from its greenish yellow colour just like the bamboo. The meat is sweet and fibrous for easier digestion.

However, it has a harder shell compared to the others, making it a little more difficult to open the durian and retrieve the meat.


10. Black Pearl

Other names: Hei Zhen Zhu

Colour: Very pale yellow with grey undertones

Taste Notes: Slightly bitter, smooth and creamy with small seeds.

Origins: Johor

Last but not least, the Black Pearl, also known as Hei Zhen Zhu (黑珍珠) in mandarin, derived from its pale greyish yellow colour just like a pearl.

It is smooth and creamy in texture, but is slightly bitter and has small seeds and lesser flesh compared to the other durian types.


Source: Straits Times