Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Durian Fest - 101 Recipe Ideas For Durian

Firstly, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Australia Day, Happy Chinese New Year.

It's been a while since I last blogged. I've eaten at so many restaurants and outings but just didn't feel the urge to blog as I've found a new muse, Instagram. I find Instagram to be even more immediate than this blog. I guess Instagram is a bit like Tumblr but you take the computer out of the equation even more. It's very immediate as everyone carries their smart phones everywhere nowadays. I shared all my food adventures there already, so didn't feel as much of a need to share it again on my blog. If you're on Instagram, you can follow me at ieatblog.

For this blog, I have instead decided that I shall keep it simpler and write shorter, sharper posts for most restaurant reviews with less photos. This will reduce the work while still hopefully capturing my feel for a restaurant. I also want to start writing about a brief account of the week like Agnes, which will capture the fun and interesting things I see and eat without the hours and hours of work editing perfect photos. Then I want to write about more about what I cook or products I like to eat.

Anyway, onto the main post, which I can wax lyricals about for hours, durian. I love love love durian. It's my favourite fruit of them all. I actually have some durian in the fridge nearly at all times. I love the really creamy, rich, sweet, smelly durian. We can only get Thai durians in Australia, as a vendor once told me that Thai durians will continue to ripen after picking. Malaysian durians, while some are tastier, apparently don't continue ripening, so hence much harder to ship as there is a shorter timeframe in which to pick and ship them.

As I was talking about durian on Twitter one time, Li from Chillipadi said that she could get some Malaysian durians from her supplier. The thought of being able to some Mao Shan Wong had me salivating, so when Li suggested a Durian Fest, I was in. Other durian lovers in Rebecca, Allan and Bryan also came along. We cooked up a durian storm and it was so amazing.

Here is the mao shan wong durian. It's extremely pungent and has a slight bitter taste, which I love. The colour is a richer yellow than the milky yellow Thai durian. The texture is less creamy than Thai durians. You may be asking why there is mint and spring onions on the durian? That was Li's idea for food styling :-)

After eating the durian by itself, we started off by eating it with fish curry. Yep, you heard right. Durian with curry. Most of you durian haters would already be saying yuck, and to match it with curry, that's like a challenge on Survivor. But for me, the flavour combination really worked, with the sweet and bitter flavours of the durian pairing perfectly with the curry.

Next up, we ate the durian cheesecake with durian ice cream that we made. Yum yum yum. The flavours of the durian really came through the cheesecake and tasted super amazing with the ice cream.

Durian profiteroles have always been a favourite of mine. While the profiteroles themselves were slightly on the tough side, the durian cream patisserie was delicious, albeit super rich.

We were super durianed out by now, but everyone still found room for some snow mooncakes made by Brian. I was hoping they were going to be durian, but alas, they were not. They were still delicious though.

So that wraps up Durian Fest. A huge thanks to Li for generously hosting all of us at her house.

While we cooked up a lot of durian recipes that day, there are still a tonne of other durian recipe ideas that I've tried myself before or have tasted. Below is a list I'm going to start and add to.

*Cheesecake - always a favourite. Use digestive biscuits for a base and you get an amazing dessert.
*Ice cream - the easiest way to make this is just to stir durian into store bought vanilla ice cream.
*Smoothie - just use your favourite smoothie recipe and substitute for durian.
*Profiteroles - just stir blitzed up durian into the cream patisserie.
*Cakes - you can make any combination of flavours. I've done sponges, chocolate cake, butter cakes and syrup cakes.
*Slice - so think Vanilla slice, but with durian in the custard filling.
*Pastries - put durian into different types of pastries. Puff always works well, but shortbreads also can work.
*Chocolates - I was lucky enough to find durian centred chocolates in Malaysia. They were so good and I want to attempt myself.
*Fried durian - cover a durian in a beer batter and fry. Oh. So. Good.
*Cupcakes - like durian cakes, you can let your imagination run wild with durian flavoured cupcakes.
*Macarons - I've made durian macarons before and they are one of the best macarons I've tasted in my life.
*Drink - mix durian, lychees, palm dates in a coconut milk broth and you get the most amazing drink.
*Sticky rice - durian works wonderfully with sticky rice or black sticky rice and some coconut milk.
*Baked custard - I love durian in any type of baked custard. I must attempt a durian creme brulee soon.
*Jelly - I've tried durian in agar agar jelly before and it didn't work so must keep experimenting.
*Asian sweet soups - durian boiled with taro in coconut milk is a nice combination.
*Biscuits - I've eaten durian flavoured biscuits before but they tasted really fake. I have to experiment myself soon.

So these are some ideas I have. If you have any durian recipes that you love, please let me know as I really want to try them.