When you see lots and lots of durian flowers everywhere, you will know that the trees are blooming and you can expect a bumper harvest soon which, of course, is somewhat strange and out of season as it is the month of April and all throughout my growing up years, we would only get to see durians and all the other seasonal local fruits like the dabai and all the rest around the rainy/flood season called the landas at the end of the year.

Lately, I saw relatives and friends sharing on Facebook a whole lot of photographs of the durian flowers cooked in all kinds of ways. I used to get a lot from my in-laws as they had a tree and everyone would come from all around the neighbourhood to ask from them. Unfortunately. for reasons unknown, it never bore any fruit so they got rid of the tree.

The last time I got to eat any durian flower, I bought from a stall at the Sibu Central Market, twice but it is closed at the moment as there have been cases of COVID-19 reported there and anyway, even if it is open, you will not catch me anywhere near that place. A friend did ask me if I wanted any but I said no, thank you and the next thing I knew, my missus came home with a bag of it, RM3.70 at the neighbourhood shop that I frequent, round the corner from my house so we had that for lunch that day.

Right after that, an ex-colleague/friend PM-ed me via Facebook to ask me if I wanted any as the tree at her house was blooming too but I also said no, thank you to her as my missus had bought a bag of it already. Much to my surprise, a couple of days later, she and her hubby showed up at my gate to give me one HUGE bag of the durian flowers…

…thank you so much, Bing Bing & Edward.

Actually, my missus was cooking tom yam

…with the sotong (squid) and prawns that I bought not too long ago and I suggested adding the durian flowers to it but my suggestion fell on deaf ears. She just added some fresh sweet baby corn that we had in the fridge.

She cooked what she bought that day with sambal hay bee/udang kering (dried prawns) but it was a little laim liam (sticky) – probably when we removed the anthers, we missed some of them or perhaps there were some trapped in the rolled up petals and we did not bother to check. Besides, it was slightly sour and when I asked, she said she added a bit of tomato sauce. I don’t know why she did that but it sure was not compatible and no. we did not quite enjoy it that day.

This time around, she cooked the flowers masak lemak (with santan/coconut milk)…

…because my girl had mentioned in passing that the next time she had more of the flowers, she would like her to cook them this way and yes, it was so very very nice.

There was a lot of sauce/soup and there were still a lot of the flowers left so I suggested throwing them all in but no, once again, my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Obviously, she had another plan in mind which was to cook the flowers with sambal hay bee/dried prawns…

…again! This time around, it turned out perfect and was really very nice unlike the previous time.

Of course, that was a lot of durian flowers plus the tom yam soup for the three of us but my missus shared everything with my in-laws but even though there wasn’t too much in the end for us to manage, there was still some left over that we could heat up and enjoy the following day.

SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441) is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket.