Durian, the thorny King of Fruits often produce strong mixed reactions when the uninitiated try it for the first time. There’s no maybe about it, you either hate it or love it. And now Southeast Asia’s very own pungent durian has gone to explore wider avenues, all the way up to China itself.
You’ve probably heard about all sorts of unlikely combinations with durian that us humans manage to come up with. From eating durian with rice, durian topped pizza (only available in China!) and even durian coffee, there seems to be no end to the ingenious fusions people are capable of dreaming up.
The latest craze to hit the internet is known as durian chicken hotpot where it’s a delicacy found in Guangzhou, China. It’s described as a huge pot filled with broth, chicken and durian is also added as part of the soup base.
Sounds crazy to those of us who have been facing durians all our life? Well, the Chinese in Guangzhou remain unfazed over this incorporation of two unlikely elements. It doesn’t even seem like much of a novelty there, a quick search on the internet shows recipes for a home-cooked feast of the same.
This quirky dish was discovered by Trevor James, where he makes YouTube videos that documents his foodie adventures and posts them on his YouTube channel The Food Ranger. A self-professed durian lover, even he was skeptical about the taste of this dish. But when the food arrived and he dug in, he announced that it was amazing, albeit with a little too much oil.
Trevor James described the taste of the fresh durian in the hotpot as “creamy, very very soft, almost butterscotch-y, caramel-y and stenchy”. He suggests some improvements, perhaps using premium durians to bring out more of its signature flavour.
The total damage to the wallet for a bubbling pot of durian chicken hotpot amounts to 303 yuan (S$64) which also included an extra portion of fresh durian flesh priced at 88 yuan (S$18).
Durians’ popularity in China has been steadily on the rise ever since Malaysia started exporting this spiky fruit in frozen form back in 2011.
You can bet that they will definitely think of various other ways to serve this unique, strong-smelling fruit in the future.
Can we expect to see this marriage of sweet/salty flavours on our very own home shores soon? Well, we don’t see why not as durian and chicken hotpot are already favourites here.