Flowers bloom…

The durian trees are flowering…again! We have not come to the end of the current season and the flowers are making their appearance at the markets here already. It sure looks like there will be a bountiful harvest around the end of the year or early next year.

Many may love the fruit to bits, willing to fork out a fortune for them, but they may not have seen the trees, much less the flowers, I’m sure. I am not really a fan of the fruit and will not go out and buy to eat, RM50.00 for 3 at the Selangau market the other day (not too sure what the current prices here in Sibu are), but I will do that when it comes to the flowers…

Durian flowers

My sister bought two big bags full at RM1.00 each at the Dewan Suarah (Civic Centre) market the other morning and that was extremely cheap. Usually, we would have to fork out at least RM2 for that amount and a lot more if they have had the anthers removed.

Yes, that is the chore one would have to endure before cooking and enjoying the flowers, removing the anthers…

Anthers

–Β those little things at the end that resemble tiny cauliflowers and not only is it tedious and time-consuming, the flowers, your hands and everything must be dry or they would turn sticky and you might as well throw it all away. That is why if it rains the night before, there is no point at all collecting the flowers as there will be that gooey glue-like stuff all over the flowers that would render them unsuitable for consumption. Some will remove them for you and sell but of course, that comes at a price and not a small one at that.

It took me less than an hour to remove the anthers…

Anthers removed

…of the flowers in one bag – the petals are edible too but since there were a lot of the remaining stamen or filament, I did not bother to keep much of those as one would have to unroll them one by one to make sure there are no anthers lurking inside as that would render the dish kind of starchy and not nice at all.

There are different ways to cook them. I know many cook some kind of curry with it and an aunt of mine once used them to make the nyonya-style acar (pickle) but usually, we would just fry them with sambal udang kering (dried prawns) the same way we fry kangkong (water spinach) but my missus went a step further and added a bit of mother tumeric (kunyit) and this was what we ended up with from one bag…

Fried durian flowers 1

…which we gave to my mum to enjoy.

We fried the other bag with lots of pounded chili added…

Fried durian flowers 2

…for ourselves and needless to say, we enjoyed it a lot!

Another fruit that is in season right now is the terbulus or buah engkala

Terbelua aka engkala

…in our local Malay. I managed to buy a basketful for RM4.00 at the Selangau market that day, at least RM5.00 at the Sibu market, and yes, they were really very very good – so sweet and creamy…and yes, we do eat the skin as well – very good roughage, if you get what I mean. Hehehehehe!!!! For the uninitiated who have neither heard or read of nor seen the fruit before, you can click this link to see my blogpost about it sometime ago.

Speaking of the Selangau market, I managed to get this…

Wild boar soup 1

…from there too the other day. The ones here are different from those in the peninsula, it seems – those there are only good for cooking curry, they tell me and the difference lies in their diet. If I can get hold of a good one here, I would cook soup with it

Wild boar soup 2

…and enjoy the delightful fragrance and taste. Yes, we have good ones and not so good ones depending on what they have been eating and the best ones would be during the fruit season – no price for guessing what they had been feasting on…and also during the engkabang (illpenut) season when they would be very fat and very very nice.

I guess some/many of you are not familiar with all these things but never mind. You saw it first right here at https://suituapui.wordpress.com! LOL!!!

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Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

21 thoughts on “Flowers bloom…”

  1. I wonder does anyone eat the flowers with the anthers? I would like to taste the fruit but no thanks to the meat although I have eaten the curry meat in KL a long time ago.

    With the anthers, when cooked, it is gooey and sticky like you’ve added cornflour starch, a lot of it. In fact, it gets that way once in contact with water even when uncooked – quite impossible to remove the anthers.

    I’ve tasted the meat curry over there – some coursemate brought to the college, did not think it was anything different from any other meat curry – it was…curry, nothing more, nothing less, nothing special at all. Like how they cook it at the restaurants here too – with lots of ginger, serai, spices and everything – same recipe, whatever meat…so they would all come across exactly the same. Good only when the meat is not good and needs all those to give it some taste and to drown out the smell.

  2. I remember you posting about this durian flower before. Until today I still have yet to eat it even though my father in law owns a durian orchard. I don’t think he even collects the flowers to sell.

    Have to cook and eat the same day they fall off the trees so do give it a try if you are at the orchard during the flowering season. Once you’ve tried, there will be no turning back. Like my MIL’s neighbours when they had a tree behind the house – they kept coming over to ask and my in-laws had to collect and keep for them, such a nuisance, some people – not the same if people give you, they’d come and ask!!! My in-laws have got rid of the tree though, grown too big for their little backyard.

  3. I used to hate removing those sticky anthers as kids as I am eldest and I got to help mum with food preparation. But I do enjoyed my mum’s cooking of it with belacan.

    Ok, I knew that terbulus as mum told us before that she used to eat it as kid. I never try it before. Saw those ethnic aunties sold them in market but never buy them.

    Have to get good ones. Very important how they pluck the fruit. Had a tree in our house compound when I was a kid. Had to get somebody to climb up, saw the branch off and let it down slowly with a rope…then cut the fruits off one by one, handling each one with care. If they do not pluck the fruits like that, they may damage them and once ripe, they would be like they’ve gone bad or something. The good ones are very sweet, rich and creamy inside…like avocado…or ice cream. My father never ate it, I would eat the inside but not the skin. Now my father loves it, and now, I eat it all. Very nice!

    Yes, very tedious – cannot imagine getting the young ones to remove the anthers. They’d be bored to death. But it is nice, right? Wanna eat, gotta go through the chore…no choice or buy those at the market, already done for you, pay the price. πŸ˜€

  4. You are right, I only know durians, but never seen the trees, let alone the flowers.. I kept scrolling because I want to see what you can do with the flowers.. Oooo, looks like mini cauliflower heads.. And the one that you fried with pounded cili, looks like “kam cham koo” (a type of mushroom).. Looks good..

    The mini cauliflower heads, you throw away – you do not cook or eat those as they would make the dish gooey like you have added too much cornflour starch, not nice anymore. City people like that lah! The wild durian trees are very very big and tall, you can see them here:
    https://suituapui.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/nature-boy/
    – I think the hybrids are smaller:

  5. If you didn’t share about it, i would not have seen the flowers before…

    You probably will never get to see it there, not in Singapore with all that development there.

  6. Wow, not only have I not heard of the buah engkala, but I also have never heard of durian flowers. Truly, this blog has a wealth of information.

    We learn new things every day – like when I go to a farmers’ market overseas. I find it so very different, lots of interesting to see and learn about.

  7. i never eat the flowers from the durian tree but i always been told that they are very delicious indeed. Would love to try it one fine day

    It’s very nice – crunchy with a light fragrance of its own but of course, the overall taste will depend on how you cook it, like midin or paku.

  8. Never knew that there’s edible durian flowers. Close to an hour to remove the anthers? Oh no! I’m one of those who buys ikan bilis that have their heads and innards removed ;D Maybe you can line them up in a bunch and use a pair of scissors to cut off the anthers….could that be faster?

    I used to as well – buy ikan bilis, already cleaned but not anymore. For that same price, you can buy double the amount or more and being retired, I have a lot of time on my minds. Turn on the radio, relax and listen to the songs and do the chore slowly. Can finish in no time at all, wouldn’t feel it at all…and for me, it’s a good way to pass the time. The idle mind is the devil’s workshop, so they say.

    You can buy those with the anthers removed if you do not want to do it yourself. RM5 for a basket, maybe half the amount of what I got in the RM1 plastic bag or less. I am sure arranging the flowers, picking up the scissors to cut, putting it down…and throwing the flowers in a basket would take a lot more time. Same as the ikan bilis, I actually enjoy doing it…as it was dry, easy to remove, not sticky and messy, and pretty quick. Took so long because there was so much in the bag…for just RM1.00. A real bargain, that one!

  9. count me in as someone who had no idea what these were … if you had asked me to guess, i’d have said they’re a strange cross between cauliflowers and mushrooms! heheh, very educational, cikgu πŸ˜€

    How about making a trip over here sometime? I am sure people will ask you what for you want to come here, dead town, nothing there bla…bla…bla… You will find it very different here and very interesting, a refreshing change from the city environment…and the general West Malaysian surroundings. You will not regret it, I assure you. Come, come!

  10. I love durian flowers but haven’t seen them at the market yet. Indeed very tedious work to remove the anthers. Buah engkala, looks interesting & new to me. Just eat like that kah & how’s the taste?

    Click the link and see how we prepare the terbulus or buah engkala. I know some people would go and boil it, we don’t. It used to be something we have around here only…like dabai but I hear you can get it in Kuching as well, last time at Satok market – dunno where it has moved to now.

    Ya, want to eat, have to do lor…or pay more to get less, the ones already done for you. πŸ˜€

  11. I have learned something new once again…never knew about these flowers. πŸ™‚

    Actually, people are very much into eating all kinds of flowers these days…chrysanthemum, hibiscus…and so on.

  12. Durian flowers, my favourite. Make it make lemak with prawns and belacan. yum yumm..

    Yes, masak lemak is also very nice…like paku masak lemak. Yum yummm!!!! You remove the anthers yourself? Ask your girl to help, she would probably enjoy it. πŸ˜€

  13. I have read about the durian flowers in one of your earlier posts. I have not seen a durian flower up close, only in pictures. Looks like you like it a lot. I wonder how it tastes and I would most likely not get a chance as I don’t think anyone sells the flowers over here.

    Know anybody with a durian tree in the house compound? Just one tree would be enough, lots of flowers when flowering. Spread out newspapers on the ground under the tree at night, in the morning, go and lift the newspapers to collect the flowers – a lot! This is much easier than picking up the flowers one by one. My MIL had a tree so we would always have the flowers to enjoy but she has got rid of the tree – the roots were creeping under the house. So now, no more durian flowers for us…unless we go and buy. 😦

  14. Wow I never knew they can make dish out of those, how does that taste? is it similar to cauliflower as they resemble them?

    Nope, we do not eat that part, anyway. Crunchy, with a very mild nice fragrance…maybe we can say it is a thinner and nicer version of bean sprouts?

  15. Yeah, I don’t know about the buah engkala. Had to click on your old post to read about it. I’ve been to a durian orchard, but sadly have not sampled the durian flower. How is the texture like? Chewy? Looking at the way you cooked it with kunyit and chili looks appetizing!

    Crunchy, like midin…a little bit harder than bean sprouts. Many ways to cook them, all nice!

  16. The durian flowers look interesting! Yes, I wanna try that too if given a chance… And that terbulus too, whatever it is… All looks new to me and I wanna go for them… πŸ™‚

    You will have to come here for that. The flowers must be eaten the same day they drop off the trees and the terbulus cannot be transported in closed (plastic) bags – they will end up “cooked” and rendered inedible. 😦

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