Durian Frozen Yogurt

Durian Frozen Yogurt

Zimmern: “completely rotten, mushy onions.”

Bourdain: “…Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”

Alfred Russell Wallace, some naturalist in the 1800’s: “After a fruit-eating bat has pee’d on it.”

Henri Mouhot, French naturalist: “On first tasting it I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction.”

BBC: “It has been likened to rotting onions, unwashed socks and even carrion in custard, but the most accurate description by far is that of a sewer full of rotting pineapples.”

Richard Sterling, travel/food writer: “… its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away. Despite its great local popularity, the raw fruit is forbidden from some establishments such as hotels, subways and airports, including public transportation in Southeast Asia.”


I grew up eating the fresh durian during the summers that we’d go back to Hong Kong, so it’s something that my family has always loved. To me, it’s creamy, luscious, custardy. I would choose durian over the finest cheese. In fact, it’s so creamy that I’ve used durian as a “cheese” to spread on crackers!

MARK MY WORDS: I think durian is going to be next big good-for-you-make-millions multi level marketing thing, like mangosteen and acai. Can you imagine if some company claimed that durian is the “Asian secret” to eternally youthful skin? And you have to smear this durian stuff on your face nightly as a mask?

Yeah, I’d be lickin’ that mask right off. (ewww. I know. I disgust you!)

Durian Virgin? Come to Mama…

Ok, so if you’re a durian virgin, I’ve got a very, very tame recipe for you.

While fresh durian is hard to find outside of metro cities with a large Asian markets, frozen durian is pretty good. The durian fruit is frozen at its peak of ripeness, but will lack the pungent aroma and taste of fresh durian, which is a really good thing if you have asshole neighbors, which thankfully, I don’t anymore (no, not you Lisa!)

Ask your Asian grocer if they carry frozen durian. If they do not, beg, plead and bribe them until they succumb to the durian love fest.

Making frozen yogurt with the durian was absolutely perfect. The yogurt is tangy, smooth and refreshing – a perfect pairing for a fruit that is considered a “heat” fruit, meaning the fruit has heating properties vs. the usual cooling properties of fruit. Ok, will go into that whole cooling/heating foods thing in another post.

Frozen Durian from Thailand

Frozen Durian

Defrosted durian looks like this. Not so bad, right? There are several large brown seeds inside the fruit.Durian


Durian Frozen Yogurt

16 ounces Greek yogurt or 32 ounces whole milk yogurt
4 ounces frozen durian fruit
1/2 cup sugar

If you are using whole milk yogurt (and not the Greek yogurt), youโ€™ll need to strain out the water (whey). Line your fine meshed sieve with a double-layer of cheesecloth. Spoon the yogurt in, and let it sit propped over a deep bowl in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Discard the whey (water.) If you are using Greek-style yogurt, no need to strain, just use as is.

Use your hands to scoop out and discard the large seeds. The durian should be soft enough at room temperature to use a potato masher or whisk to smush and break up the durian. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, durian and sugar together. Taste and if add more durian if it’s not durian-y enough for you! Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

Following the your ice cream maker’s insturctions, churn, baby, churn the durian yogurt until the mixture is the consistency of soft ice cream.


Who else loves durian?

Chez Pim makes Sweet Sticky Rice with Durian and Coconut Milk Sauce

Malaysia’s Best loves Durian Butter Cake

Wokking Mum whipped up a batch of Durian Cupcakes

how about you? Have you ever had Durian?


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Comments 67

  1. Lyn

    OMG – I used to live down the street from an asian supermarket in San Francisco. You would’ve loved it because they had durian by the crate loads!! Every week there was a new shipment. It was the first time that I’d seen it anywhere and I thought it was cousin of lychee. Of course I had to get one because it seemed to be the hottest thing at the market, all the customers raved about how good it was but failed to tell me how bad it smelled. It was a bit odorous at purchase but I walked it home, left the kitchen, when I came back -whoa! BUT, it was tasty, when I took pieces of it, ate it outside in open air, and swallowed before inhaling =) Gotta try it at least once. It’s like when you first have sashimi, you think raw fish?!, but then you’d prefer it over california rolls any day.

  2. Lynne

    Ok, I’m sitting here alone (well, except for the 10 pair of kitty eyes staring me down!) in my kichen eating my dish of fresh-out-of-the-freezer homemade Durian frozen yogurt! It’s quite tasty – not sure if that’s just the frozen sugary greek yogurt talking or the Durian. It’s definitely stinky. Kind of reminds me of VERY strong garlic chives. So I’m eating garlic chives frozen yogurt. Will I smell like this tomorrow??? Hmmm.

  3. Peko Peko (KyotoFoodie)

    Durian is excellent stuff. The first time I had it was on Lombok in Indonesia. Lombok is dry, so the durian has less water content than usual, therefore the taste is even more full-bodied.

    Well, my Balinese friend and I were driving around Lombok looking for the road that led to this little village we encountered this roadside stand selling durian. My friend loves durian and I think that he said that it doesn’t grow on Bali.

    The stand had 13 durnian and I bought them all — at quite a steep price. We went back to the hotel on Senggigi beach area and ate them all on a veranda. I had 7 and he had 6. Then next morning he told me that his stomach had been ‘broken’ by so many durian. I was fine!

  4. Sui Mai

    The boy looooooves durian…. I don’t know where he gets it as an English boy who never encountered Asian food until university years but he can’t get enough of the stuff. His response to this post?

    Eyes shut and going “MMMmmmnnnnn”

  5. alexis

    Oh durian, my god. I live in a country full of them but ironically can’t have them since my husband would absolutely NOT hear of having them in the house. Eating them is wonderful, the aftermath though, does not smell or taste delightful at all. Neither is the smell delightful when I was into the food hall at Carrefour because there, it just smells nasty. I think I shall stop rambling and resume licking the screen. Yummy.

  6. Joanna

    I have to say that durian is one of my all-time favorite fruits. I am an addict and get my dad to buy it at least every 2 months (they’re quite expensive here in BC). I love watching my dad hack at the outer casing with the pry-bar ๐Ÿ˜› what a sight to see…

  7. lette

    i love Durian and i am so glad you posted this recipe! looks yummy! (i must try it out…) thanks and i’m so looking forward to more amazing recipes!

  8. katy

    those descriptions are hilarious — i’m frightened, but i totally want to try it! i’m particularly impressed that you’ve found something that can be both a cheese substitute and an ice cream flavor — that is no small feat!

  9. An

    I have to say that after going to Malaysia, exposing one to locals friends who told us what are the “best” durians, they say the best ones are from Penang – bitter (think strong coffee – so strong, better, aromatic/pungent) and VERY creamy.

    As for me, I’m actually neutral about durian. I don’t mind if people love it and eat it. For some reason:
    1. I kinda have a less sensitivity nose to smell, so the smell doesn’t hit me as hard (unless we’re going to an enclosed space where the durian is stored – then I’ll smell it, but I won’t mind it too much).
    2. I prefer crunchy fruits, or the least creamy bits of the durian flesh. The durian lovers claim it’s the worst part, but hey, everyone gets what they want (more for them, which is fine by me).

    I think of durian as the really strong pungent cheese (those blue cheese or vintage cheese with a really soft, creamy texture). The “good” durian is subjective – some like a really sweet durian, or a really aromatic, bitter one (think strong black coffee – bitter, aromatic/pungent).

    Its creamy texture is literally like cream – I’m thinking somewhere like a ripe avocado and ripe banana when you mush it for banana bread.

    Of course, frozen durians aren’t going to be as good as the fresh ones. But it’s a good thing homesick people can have to remind them of home.

    I heard another counter “therapy” for the “heat” of the durian is drinking water out of the inner rind of the durian shell, and also using that water to rinse your hands will get rid of the smell.
    Mangosten is another popular counter action for it “cools” the heat of the durian.
    Salt and water is the third I’ve heard.

  10. Kirsten

    Well, I have never tasted a durian and to my shame I have to admit, that I even don’t know what it is. I have never seen it here in Munich. But now I will keep my eyes open – I love to taste ‘new’ fruits.

  11. Amilia Gani

    Love Durians and love eating it with good company. Your durian ice cream recipe reminds me of Singapore durian puffs – it is simply puff stuffed with durian cream paste eaten cold. The best durians are from Malaysia.

  12. Teresa

    LOVE durian. My mother and grandmother loved it, but dad not so much. It used to be that all the women ate it in the garage so dad did not have to smell it. Now my husband will tolerate it, but he does not share my fondness of durian. The durian shakes you can get a Vietnamese restaurant are pretty good.

  13. Froyo Lover

    Oh Durian…I’m Asian and I have had many people frown upon me because I enjoy this fruit. Luckily it isn’t banned here in the US like other countries. I didn’t realize that people really can’t stand the smell–I guess since I grew up eating it the smell doesn’t bother me. if I had a nickel for every person that wouldn’t eat something just because it smells bad I would be a millionaire! I don’t think people should do that especially with DURIAN FROYO! I think this is the perfect compliment to Durian! Now, let’s see if any froyo shops actually adopt the flavor! ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. If there are any avid froyo lovers like me on the East Coast–a NEW shop is opening soon called CUPS frozen yogurt and they are giving away FREE yogurt from I think 1PM-10PM on Grand Opening day! Don’t quote me on this though– I just stumbled upon it at facebook.com/cupsfrozenyogurt But I’ll be there fore sure! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Janice

    Just took some durian out of my freezer to thaw…sooooo making this tomorrow. Thank you!

  15. Cheryl

    I actually love the smell of durian. Everyone smells durian differently. Maybe I associate the durian with childhood memories of rushing downstairs to feast on its custardy flesh, eating as much as I can get away with before the rest of my family finishes the rest. If we had leftovers, we’d put them into the fridge and there’d be a contest as to who would wake up the earliest to finish the rest. There are also different kinds of durian and personally, I think naysayers have been eating the kind that only the most diehard durian fans eat (either that or they haven’t gotten past the “stench” to even try to taste a morsel). The somewhat tough, slightly unripe and bitter kind is not one for newbies. Personally, my favourite is the Thai durian (monthong or chanee, I forget) when it’s mostly sweet. I recently found a restaurant selling Durian Pancakes which are my current obsession. They’re not actually pancakes (you know, that whole thing about naming things which totally does not translate into the final product?). They’re more like rolls filled with whipped cream infused with durian essense and a small slice of durian. Look for it online. I think I saw a recipe somewhere. God, I miss durian.

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