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It’s Small But It’s Delicious!


About duku (a type of tropical fruit)

Duku is one of the favorite tropical fruits among Malaysians. Duku is a name in Malay and its botanical family is Meliaceae. I don’t know what it’s called in English.

Anyway, the Duku is native to Malaysia and is regarded as one of the most delicious of all fruits in Malaysia.

Due to its popularity, the Duku is now cultivated throughout Southeast Asia and it grows on a tree belonging to the same family as the Langsat. The Langsat is also another favorite fruits in Malaysia that shares many similarities with Duku.

Difference between duku and langsat

Most people are confused between Langsat and Duku. Here are some tips on how to differentiate the Duku from Langsat.

Duku – The fruit are round like golf balls and have a very hard skin. They don’t bruise easily and an unripe fruit is super sour! If it is fresh and ripe, it tastes tangy and sweet and delicious!

Langsat – The fruit looks similar to the duku but are always sold on the stem. If they drop off, they are no longer fresh. The skin has a lot of latex if you don’t open it properly so eating it requires a technique not many have. The fruit is very sweet.


The delicious duku


Langsat is smaller in size compare to duku.

How does a duku look like

The duku, which grows in clusters, is about the size and shape of a large golf ball, and has thick, somewhat leathery golden brown skin.

After gentle pressure with the hands on both sides of the top of the fruit (where the stem was attached), the skin splits to reveal five segments of white flesh, some of which may contain small seeds.

Avoid biting into these as they are bitter.

Taste and smell of duku

Duku flesh is delicious and juicy. Most fruits enthusiasts claim that the Duku is superior to Langsat in terms of sweetness and tenderness of the flesh.

Certainly, the lack of sticky latex in the skin typical of langsat makes eating the duku a much easier task. In Asia, the duku is always eaten fresh as a snack or to finish a meal.

Where to find duku

Duku can be found throughout the year in Malaysia. It’s easily noticed especially in fruit stalls by the streets in the countryside.

Duku is cheap and they are sold by weight. Normally a kilo will only cost two to five Malaysian Ringgit.

The Duku is not normally sold in large and established supermarket such as Jaya Jusco and Tesco. They are usually found in the night market in villages and small towns.


Stems of duku on a tree.

Duku is a must-try fruit if you even come across it in Malaysia especially for expat. It certainly makes a great evening snack after dinner.

Other fruits in Malaysia that you might be interested

  • Starfruit – As the name implies, the starfruit looks like a five-pointed star when you cut a cross section of this fruit.
  • Jackfruit – The jackfruit is said to be the largest fruit in the world, with the biggest specimens weighing up to 50kg (110 lbs)
  • Rambutan – The rambutan is a rather peculiar and yet popular fruit in Malaysia. Native to South East Asia, the rambutan is available throughout the year in Malaysia.
  • Sapodilla (Ciku) – The sapodilla might not be a familiar tropical fruit to a lot of people, even for Malaysians, but it is certainly one of the best in Malaysia.
  • Mangosteen (Manggis) – The mangosteen has been considered one of the most powerful super fruit recently. The level of anti-oxidant in this fruit is of super extraordinary. Find out why you should give this super fruit a bite.
  • Pomelo (Limau Gedang) – The pomelo is a favorite tropical fruit among all races in Malaysia. It’s available throughout the year. As a result, you can see pomelos in almost all places in Malaysia.
  • Red Durian (Wild Durian) – Have you tried a wild durian before? If not, you should give this red-flesh durian a try. The feedback for this special species of durian is that its taste is more pungent and its smell is stronger.
  • Durian – The durian might seem controversial due to its overpowering odor; it’s actually very special in terms of taste and sweetness.
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