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Red Flesh Durians That Make Heads Turn


About the red flesh durian

A durian species is turning heads among visitors to Sabah, thanks to its uniquely reddish flesh.

Known among the Kadazandusun community as sukang or tabelak, the fruit is also called “durian hutan”, as it is mainly found growing wild in the jungles of Sabah.

It may come as a surprise to learn that there are about 20 wild species, with about 12 being found in Sabah. Several of these also have edible fruits, some being cultivated on a small scale.

The most popular of these species, now increasingly cultivated, is probably ‘durian merah’ or ‘durian dalit’, (Durio graveolens), which has white flowers and round fruits, orange when ripe, with attractive red to orange flesh – this has very little smell and is said to taste like avocado.
Source: My Daily Express

Red Durian Tree

A red-color flesh durian tree which is full of durians.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjum said he did not know anyone cultivating sukang (its scientific name is Durio gravolens) as there was generally not much enthusiasm among locals for wild durian.

The taste of the durian

Its flesh is said to be thinner and drier compared with the cultivated fruit which is of thicker and creamier texture.

In the hills of the Crocker Range and around Mt.Kinabalu, ‘durian tapuloh’ (Durio kinabaluensis), is still eaten when in season. The tree has beautiful pink flowers and yellow fruits, with cream to yellow flesh that has a pleasant, mild flavour and aroma.

The taste is about similar with other durians, although some have described it as sweetish sour.
Masidi said the sukang’s main attraction is its red-coloured flesh.

Reddish Flesh of the Durian

Reddish flesh of the durian

“That’s the main thing that makes it stand out,” he said, adding that this type of durian also fetched a lower price than the more common fruit.

How much does it cost

The small-sized fruits, some about the size of a sepak takraw ball, are sold for as little as RM2 to RM3 when they are in season.

Species which are now rare in the wild include the curious Tortoise Durian or ‘durian kura-kura’ (Durio testudinarium), which bears its flowers and fruits not on the branches, but on the trunk and around its base – at tortoise-level!

Another unusual, but even rarer species, is ‘durian tahis’, (Durio dulcis), which has beautiful dark red fruits, with a very thick rind, making them difficult to open.
Source: The Star

Compare to other durians

Masidi, who grew up in interior Ranau where sukang are plentiful, said some people who had tasted the fruit for the first time claimed that it had a more potent “kick”.

“Maybe it’s because this particular type of durian is generally more pungent,” he added. Others who have tasted sukang describe it having a carrot-like flavour.

Other Fruits in Malaysia That You May Want to Try

  • Rambutan – The name of this fruit comes from the Malay word for hair, rambut. It is a particularly apt description, for the rambutan looks like a bright red golf ball covered with whiskery hair.
  • Mangosteen (Manggis) – Regarded as the queen of fruits in Malaysia, the mangosteen is considered as a perfect balance to the rich “heatiness” of the durian due to the mangosteen “cooling” effect.
  • Jackfruit (Nanga) – The jackfruit is one of many delicious tropical fruits that you must taste. In Malay term, the jackfruit is referred to as “Nanga”.
  • Duku – Duku is one of the favorite tropical fruits among Malaysians. Duku is a name in Malay and its botanical family is Meliaceae. Duku is native to Malaysia and is regarded as one of the most delicious of all fruits in Malaysia.
  • Starfruit (Belimbing) – As the name implies, the starfruit looks like a five-pointed star when you cut a cross section of this fruit. The starfruit is also referred to as carambola.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Durian – The durian is not only famous in Malaysia it’s also the most highly prized fruit within the Southeast Asia region. 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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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Thini sk October 17, 2016, 9:23 pm

    When is the red durian season. Which month can get tis durian n where in sabah. Pls advise me on tis. Need to arrange my trip to sabah.


  • ali ahmed omar bamshamsy March 15, 2017, 7:02 pm

    i love malaysia very much and i love all type durian
    and germinating durian seeds
    best regards

  • Ali Ahmed bamshamsy May 15, 2018, 6:17 am

    I have private company for import fresh fruits trading.
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    I am very interested for extremely rare fruits and durian
    Who have extremely rare durian like red glesh pulp durian contact me what’s app is 00966566893241

    Best regards.

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