11.12.2007

Culinary Adventures

If you remember from my last post, roomie michele and I picked up a bunch of random things from super 88 market. One of which was a Durian:

We saw some in the frozen section and, after a too-friendly guy came up and told us all about how durians taste and smell like a sort of soft cheese, and that they were an acquired taste, we decided to take this five-pound, spiky (painfully so!) monster home with us.

As it was frozen, we left it on the coffee table overnight. When we woke, the whole apartment had a sort of odd, trash-like smell. Like a rotten melon. Our durian had thawed!

We brought it to the kitchen, laid down some newspapers, and took turns attacking it with a large knife.

It's surprisingly easy to cut, once you can get a grip on it. And we laid it upen to find the edible parts looking remarkably like fetuses, or livers, or something I definitely don't eat:

And I haven't mentioned the smell. The once tolerable trash/rotten melon smell had grown stronger. It's a rather indescribable odor, but I'll put my creative-writing-major skills to work here: imagine, if you will, hollowing out a honey dew, stuffing it with sliced onions, then leaving it to rot for a week. Sprinkle with sulphur and you have the smell of durian. The edible part is the fleshy seed coating, so you have to pick around the seed.

This fruit is obscene. The texture is appalling, too. Websites that list it as a delicacy call it "custardy." I would say it's closer to thick snot.

We had two bowls full of durian. We tasted it. IT WAS DISGUSTING. Apparently, there are a few different varieties, and only one can be shipped out of Southeast Asia, home of the durian. And since they smell so terrible when thawed, super 88 market sells them frozen. So there's no way of knowing whether you're getting a good durian or not - some websites I read just now mentioned that there are some unsavory sulphury ones that make you burp a lot - that'd be our little darling here!

Maybe there are tasty durians out there, but even under the sulphury taste, the flavor was still reminiscent of onion-stuffed honeydew. Michele and I realized we couldn't possibly eat this thing, so we removed the seeds and scooped what was left into tupperware to freeze.

EW. But we both believe this terrible thing can be saved. I, for example, was thinking that if we blend it with other vegetables and use it as a sandwich spread, it would not be very unlike a "veggie and chive"-flavored cream cheese. Michele was not convinced.

Anyway it'll be a while before we take it out of the freezer - it took 2-3 hours with our windows wide open to get that terrible stench out of our apartment.

After a long walk outside the stinky apartment, I got my appetite back, so I made myself a thai dinner (in honor of the durian... but durian-free):

baked rama tofu and fresh spring rolls! (with dipping sauce)

I made my own sauces, but next time I'm going to just use peanut sauce (for the tofu) from a jar. Faster. The dipping sauce is mirin, rice vinegar, and tamari.

Spring roll ingredients: snap peas, bean sprouts, basil, grated carrots and daikon radish.

The daikon was a little overpowering, but enough sauce helped drown it.

Moral of this story: durians are gross.

11 comments:

Vegan_Noodle said... Best Blogger Tips

Ugh, I feel a bit queasy now after reading that. Don't think I'll be trying one of those anytime soon!
Trying to concentrate on the springs rolls now...stomach feel much better :-)

Shananigans said... Best Blogger Tips

You are so brave! I hope you find something to do with that thing, I probably would have tossed it. Your dinner looks great though.

Webly said... Best Blogger Tips

I appreciate your adventuristic nature in the kitchen!

Ashasarala said... Best Blogger Tips

That looks so scary. I think there are spikes on it for a reason. 'Stay away from me!' it warns.

You are quite the brave one!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said... Best Blogger Tips

Ick-- I dislike durian too! Poor durian, it doesn't seem to have too much of a fan club :o(

VeggieGirl said... Best Blogger Tips

yikes, I will definitely be avoiding durian now - thanks for the warning!! haha, but I'm sorry that you have to endure its awfulness :0(

healthnut said... Best Blogger Tips

It's great to know that durians are gross, I've always wondered about their taste. Now I know not to try 'em :)

Veggie Cookster said... Best Blogger Tips

Ugh, I give you a lot of credit for trying that... it sounds awful!

Rob said... Best Blogger Tips

You'll eat your snotty liver and you'll like it!

Rural Vegan said... Best Blogger Tips

That may the the most foul thing I've seen on the internet all month. I'm sorry durian, but I'd kick that nasty thing out of your freezer too. Clearly it's not to be trusted!

bazu said... Best Blogger Tips

ewww! I've always wanted to try a durian, but I might wait to visit SE Asia and try a fresh one, around people who know how to pick a good one! Thanks for being brave!