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. SusanV

    I’ll admit I’m too scared to try it. The quotes you cite–plus the fact that the defrosted durian looks like severed body parts–aren’t really helping. I think I’ll stick to mangosteen!

  2. dwiana

    I am durian lover!! Love the smell and the taste of it. Just soo sad that durian is hardly to find also the price is expensive here:(
    I made martabak durian one day and surely I will try this recipe.

  3. bruleeblog

    OMG no. Durian is bad bad bad.

    After being told that oh all the stuff here is frozen, you’ll like the fresh durian so much better, I decided to suck it up and try a taste of the just picked from the tree durian during a trip to Malaysia. It definitely was creamier than the frozen stuff but it still tasted like unwashed socks. Bleh!

    And btw, if you’re inland at all, just because the durian still has the spiny skin on it doesn’t mean it wasn’t frozen before.

  4. kate

    Woman !!! Are you kidding … Durian !!!! eeeeeuuukkkkkk !!!!! lol ๐Ÿ˜›
    i cant believe how so many people actually like this stuff ! I can almost smell it stink up till here ! Sorrie … ๐Ÿ™

  5. kate

    But i’ll tell you what i like … the shot of the frozen yogurt scoop is simply lovely. Well taken !

  6. sygyzy

    Durian is delicious. No lie. I didn’t even have to “learn” to like it. I’ve liked it ever since my mom gave it to me as a kid. Durian ice cream is the best!

  7. Lilie

    I couldn’t get past the smell at all in Malaysia to even try it. There were signs in all the hotels “No Durian”!

  8. iron stef

    I got to try fresh durian once. The smell was something to get past, and I kinda liked it. I could see how people could love it. I had to tell myself that I was eating something more like a cheese, because if your brain is expecting “fruit” durian is quite shocking. But if you’re expecting “cheese” which I think is a perfect description, than you should be quite pleased.

  9. Lynn

    A small coughing fit has seized me and I hold a handkerchief to my nose, politely shaking my head “no”, and turn away, eyes streaming. More for you, dear.

  10. argus

    SusanV’s “severed body parts” had me cackling. Yup, durian produces all these reactions every time – love it to pulp or absolutely detest it.

    I loved it as a child. Our frontyard had a durian tree. Strangely I couldn’t eat it fresh anymore after puberty although I can eat cooked durian (no fake durian essence, please; they’re the worst!). Mmm, physiologists, please explain this one.

    Cooking mellows the flavour and smell, methinks. The durian butter cake should be good. Another one is durian bubur cha-cha – a sweet soup with coconut milk and pieces of unripe durian (no need to throw those away!). My fav is durian cooked with sugar till it becomes a sticky brownish cake, then you roll it in plastic wrap when cool enough; cut into chunks and enjoy. ^_^

  11. Nate

    I had to eat it to prove my worth to my future in-laws ๐Ÿ˜‰

    It is an acquired taste, for sure. You have to get it past your nose but once you do, it’s not that bad. Especially the really luscious and sweet varieties sold in Malaysia.

  12. sharon

    I like durian, but prefer to eat it holding my nose which sometimes makes it hard to breathe. I swear some parts of Indonesia smell like durian so the thought of it is a little nostalgic at times.

  13. Peb

    Ohhh Durian!! Yummy! I guess you either hate it or you love it. Probably like the Hong Kong fermented stinky tofu. I am going back to Malaysia in Sept so I better remember to put eating durians in the list of things to eat. I have not tried any frozen ones here, don’t want to spoil my memories of durian incase it taste bad…..after being frozen and travelling so many miles ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. aldo

    Hell yea! I can’t stand durian as a young child, but the taste grew up on me. Unfortunately, now i’m living in the States…which is very intolerant to durian eaters ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. dp

    I love durian, but haven’t had it fresh for years. I have had to settle for the paste my mom smuggles back for me from Thailand.

    I think it just takes a sophisticated palate to enjoy this fruit ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Cakebrain

    I have never eaten durian ’cause I can’t get past the smell. And my mouth is right under my nose so it’s never going to make it there. I liken its stink to the “stinky tofu” that smells equally bad–like a bad fart or an overripe porta-potty. Thankfully there is no smell-o-vision with your post in this case and all I can see is a gorgeously photographed ball of ice-cream! Oh well, more for you durian-lovers! whew!

  17. Farina

    Love, love, love, love, love, love durian! Not advisable to eat too much of them esp in summer though. I made that mistake a couple of mth ago and a few hours later my temperature soared to 103f. Love durian! yeah I know I’ve said that already.

  18. Jandi

    It can’t possibly be worse than the decomposed shark meat that is a delicacy in Iceland (I tried a teensy-weensy piece while in Reykjavik and I lived to tell the tale). I think Scottish haggis is far more vile as it is all the nasty bits of sheep plus blood stuffed into a bladder or something….and I’ve eaten that on several occasions. So, Jaden, I will give durian a try. Great post, as usual. Happy Birthday tomorrow!

  19. Annie

    I love durian! And I miss the ones you can get in Malaysia so much–there is nothing better! But I’ve had to make-do with the ones from Thailand that you get frozen here. My kids like it so far (better to get them used to it early so they won’t be turned off later. Between you and Bee, you guys are making me really miss home…

  20. Ana

    ewwww! lol, i HATE the smell of durian! my chef compared the smell to rotting flesh, and i agree. the taste is pretty decent though (kinda vanilla-y, garlicky, custard)… maybe i should try to frozen kind if it doesn’t smell too strong…

  21. courtney

    You sold me. I have seen fresh lately and am tempted to try it. I just dont want to deal with my small dysfuntional building and crazy janititor who goes through my trash( I can just imagine what he would say as he encountered the reamins of the fruit). But frozen is a novel ideal way to try it.

  22. Len

    LOVE DURIAN, fresh rather than frozen! Had durian ice cream, durian cake, durian pie. Will definitely be giving your durian yogurt recipe a try this weekend.

  23. daphne

    absolutely adore durians. It’s the season now in Singapore/Malaysia..and I’m not there! *storm feet*

    The yogurt looks so thick and creamy. Makes me want an ice-cream maker right now.

  24. Valerie

    Would you compare it to a German Limburger cheese? Limburger does smell like smelly socks, although it has a nice creamy flavor, so maybe like Iron Stef said, if you go into it thinking it tastes like a strong cheese, maybe it’s worth a try to those of us that appreciate stinky cheese?

    On the subject of Limburger cheese, maybe I shouldn’t gross everyone out, but apparently some forms of mosquitos are equally attracted to the scent of Limburger cheese as they are to the smell of human feet. Just don’t take it camping with you.

  25. Lyrical Lemongrass

    It’s durian season here in Malaysia, and the whole country smells of durian. ๐Ÿ™‚ Durian butter cake would be good, but it kinda diminishes the flavour. One of my favourite desserts here is a durian cheesecake. The combination of the cheese and durian is amazing. Sadly, my favourite baker refuses to give me his recipe! Am hoping he’ll at least leave the recipe to me in his Will.

  26. klook

    This year’s harvest in Malaysia have been good, so durian is really cheap now! The flavour of the season is Maoshanhuang (King of Cat Mountain?), a meaty, luscious bittersweet durian. lovely. Mum who hails from M’sia taught me the addictive way people eat it back home: with rice, plus a sprinkling of salt. to get rid of the ‘heat’, lightly salted water drunk from the husk is supposed to do the trick. or eating ‘cooling’ mangosteen together with durian!

  27. Lynne

    I’m trying it, Kenny – wanna see a house afterwards???!! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Tomorrow will beging the Great Durian Hunt!!!

  28. noobcook

    Durian is an acquired taste for me .. I love the taste but not the smell … my MIL gave us two boxes of durians and our home was engulged in durian smell for several days after ๐Ÿ˜€ The ice cream yoghurt looks heavenly ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. Susan

    It’s your birthday…d d (those are musical notes…lol)8/8/08 on my side of the world!! Have a good one. I guess there is one thing positive about having thyroid problems…I am not allowed to eat durian!!! haha

  30. White On Rice Couple

    Oohhh,a cool and creamy durian dessert is always perfect for summer. It looks wonderful and so simple! Just 3 ingredients, wow.
    Durian is really exquisite if one can get past the aroma. I have a really funny story about cracking open a durian at the nail shop last week. You should have seen the customers faces, it was priceless. I’m gonna write about it soon, it’s was a hilarious day.

  31. Paula

    I have this weird sense of wanting to try new things … provided I have a large piece of something that I love nearby that I can use to rinse down whatever I’m trying. I’ve never seen this fruit, but you can bet if I do, I’ll be tempted to try a teeny, tiny bite. And then wash it down with a handful of peaches or something!

  32. mochachocolata rita

    My dream is to rub the most fragrant, richest, most luscious durian meat all over celebrity food experts such as Zimmern, Bourdain, et al. and maybe have Jaden lick it off? (opps, mr. steamy, hope you arent reading this?) Yes, I am THAT perverted.

  33. jules

    I liked it when I tried it fresh off the tree in KL – it reminded me of ultra creamy onion-y custard – if such thing ever existed – but I don’t think it’s anywhere near as bad as everyone says. But then I adore stinky cheese. And the smell of horse … dung.

    So weird or not – I’m really checking in today to wish my favourite foodie & fellow 08-08-08 birthday-person a HUGE Happy Birthday & big hugs & kisses for a great day [& night!]. How auspicious can you get?! Also, thank you thank you thank you for all the marvellous recipes & images.

    xxx jules

  34. Garrett

    I’m with the quotes, durian tastes like evil. Old funky evil. Willing to try the ice cream if its ever presented to me… but with a bit of wariness.

  35. rxgator07

    I was in the produce section at 99Ranch(an Asian supermarket chain on the West Coast of US, primarily California) minding my own business and then I smelled this rank, fetid dying smell. I look around and what do I spy? A box full of Durian. Needless to say I back off a good 10 feet so I am not within olfactory range. Damn that stuff.

    I will Never, ever, ever try that stuff.

  36. keropokman

    I used to eat them and love them so much when I was young. But stopped eating them at one day at secondary school (or junior high in US context). I dunno why, but I just stopped eating it. Maybe my durian quota for life has been used up! LOL

  37. Herschelian

    Years ago my kids and I were in Malaysia for some weeks when my husband was filming there. All the hotels we stayed in, and the aircraft we flew in, had big NO DURIAN signs up. They were a round red circle with a black durian in the middle and a red X across it, and the wording beneath. Never having come across durian I was intrigued by the signs, why would hotels and airlines ban it. When my daughter and I spotted Durian icecream amongst the flavours at an icecream parlour we both thought our moment had come. Never again! bletch! it was like eating garlic flavoured custard over an open sewer. Truly awful, and the worst part was I couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth for ages no matter what I ate or drank.
    Wing Yip our local Asian supermarket in London stocks fresh durian in season and I give them a wide berth. Durians, you can keep ’em.

  38. Shalum

    I love durian! It is in season now in the Philippines. I really think there’s way too much hype about it’s smell. People, it’s a FRUIT!! Other people eat snakes and rodents, a fruit can’t be that bad. By the way, I don’t hate its smell. I love it actually. Wink. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s like extra srong vanilla or vanilla with a kick for me. It’s perfect to eat with a glass of ice cold Coca-cola.

  39. Jescel

    I’d say Durian smells like a stinky bathroom. It’s interting how Andrew Zimmerman could eat anything, but only the Durian got him. He couldn’t swallow it. It has got something to do with the texture, he said. Well, I eat Durian, though I don’t profess to love it. The smell can be strong for anyone not used to it. But in the Philippines, we also have the durian icecream and the durian candies (my fave)… so yummy…

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