Sunday , May 19 2024

That’s right, grilled durian is a thing in Dak Lak!


Since mid-August, Dak Lak Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands has been in the harvest season of durian, primarily the Ri6 and Dona varieties, which locals turn into many delicious dishes.

One of the most popular methods of cooking is to grill the whole fruit over charcoal. After being roasted on the charcoal stove for about 15 minutes, the durian’s shell cracks open by itself, revealing the hot and sweet durian flesh.

The durian shell turns black when being grilled. Photo by Ha My

The durian shell turns black when being grilled. Photo by Ha My

Nguyen Ha My, 27, posted on her Facebook page a description of the fruit she had just made at home. My grows a variety of fruit in her fertilized basalt red soil garden in Dak Lak, including durian, mangosteen, jackfruit, avocado, and sapodilla. Once the durian is ready for harvest, she grills the fruit.

“Self-falling durians are already very delicious in flavor,” said My. “The sweetness intensifies when grilling, and the flesh takes on the flavor and aroma of baked sweet potatoes. It’s really fascinating.”

Although grilling durian may seem like an odd way to enjoy the fruit, you will be pleasantly surprised by its flavor after you give it a try. In a small corner in her garden, My built a simple brick cook stove, and uses dried branches as firewood.

Ha My grills a durian in her garden in Dak Lak. Photo by Ha My

Ha My grills a durian in her garden in Dak Lak. Photo by Ha My

She then brings the slightly yellowed, aromatic, ripe durian to grill over the burner. The outer layer gradually transforms to a smoky black as the fire slowly consumes the shell. When grilling the fruit, you must keep an eye on it and turn it frequently to ensure that the meat is cooked all the way through. The shell begins to crack after 15 to 20 minutes.

Even with a knife, the durian shell is typically fairly difficult to open. But, you can easily rip it apart by hand once it has been grilled. You can now see the smoky durian flesh, and it is quite difficult to resist since it smells so good.

The grilled durian tastes like grilled sweet potatoes. Photo by Ha My

The grilled durian tastes like grilled sweet potatoes. Photo by Ha My

Holding the freshly grilled fruit up to your nose, you can then smell the durian in its purest form. The aroma, which is fragrant and alluring, has softened and is not as powerful as it once was. The warm flesh is as soft as it is about to melt. The smell of charcoal and the smoke is blended into the durian, creating an aroma that you can never forget.

You can also enjoy your grilled durian with some avocado ice cream. The buttery and rich ice cream, combined with sweet durian, topped with desiccated coconut, is a delicious refreshment that is easy to make.

If you don’t want to grill the entire fruit, you can choose to wrap each piece of durian flesh in tinfoil and grill it for six to ten minutes for a tasty treat.

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