Monday, February 1, 2010

Fried durian, no... really

Short story, when I was about 7, my grandmother called me into her tiny kitchen and pulled something out of the freezer. I associated the freezer with ice cream (for real, that's how a fat kid thinks), so when she presented me with a sandwich bag filled with an iced over chunk of white milky consistency, I assumed it was a vanilla popsicle or something. I took a giant bite of it and started going to town on the small crystals of ice. It didn't hit me right away that I was gnawing on something that tasted like gym socks, onions, and the evil incarnate combined. No, it was gradual realization that I made a mistake, and hard. Pure evil, my grandmother, bless her heart. I love her to death, but a serious wtf mate. Anyway, that was my first experience with durian, and I was convinced it would be my last... guess not.

So I found this gem when I went to 淡水 (Dan Shui) which is basically a night market that operates all day. Actually, I'm lying. I might've gone there on purpose because they had fried durian. I'm not really sure anymore. In any case, look at all the options... taro, original, and Chinese yam rhizome... YUM. I don't remember how much they cost, so don't ask me that. I can promise they were super cheap though.

The first was the taro fried durian. It was extremely crispy. Too crispy. I'm not entirely sure as to how they prepared it, but it appears that they shredded taro into strips and made a batter out of durian. To be honest, there wasn't that subtle earthy undertone I normally associate with taro, nor the sweetness you hope to find to mask other flavors. That said, you can't really taste any foulness in this, it's just kind of like chips that you get at a bar. Except hot enough to burn your hands. No opinions on this really. The latter is straight durian fried in more durian batter. I actually loved this. Just a hint of sweetness is first led in by a savory outer layer. It's not crispy, but it's also not soggy. Difficult to describe really, it's hemorrhaging hot oil like no one's business, so it's sort of soft, but there's a distinct crunch whilst chewing. Unbeatable texture combination that seems impossible ftw. The durian taste is still present, you know you're what you're eating, but it's so mild that it becomes pleasant... with a mild onion like flavor, it's savory yet sweet (a phrase I probably use all too much). The consistency in the middle was pleasant too, mushy like a marshmallow, but creamy like frosting. G'damn, I don't know how to describe it adequately. Whatever, in summary, I now like durian. Sort of.


Anonymous said...

but a serious wtf mate

Lol, since we're talking about your grandmother here.

Not sure I will ever be fond of durian, but omg street food in Taiwan is cheap heaven on earth.

Max said...

Oh man, I love durian. This looks amazing. I started liking durian by including it in smoothies, maybe that was an easier way into "durian-hood." I will definitely be looking for some fried durian while I'm in Taiwan.

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