Durian Sambal

By Gastronaut - Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013

It may come as a surprise, but durian can be used in a cooked dish like many other ingredients. In fact, that’s a great way to transform sub-quality durian into something delicious.


In the past, buying durian was like playing the lottery: you picked your fruit, the seller would open a crack in the shell for your inspection and approval, and the whole fruit would be brought home. When you finally get down to opening and eating the durian at home, you sometimes find that nearly one third of your purchase is less than ideal for consumption.


However, people in those days were quite frugal and would find ways to redeem the situation. The uneaten flesh would be made into jams, desserts, cakes and even sambal dip – like the one featured below. The durian tempoyak is sometimes made with fermented durian, but this modified version is made with fresh durian flesh instead for a more robust and less pungent result. Fresh calamansi juice is added to give the dip a little tang. And if you’re feeling indulgent, and you don’t have sub-quality flesh in hand, just go ahead and use whatever durian you have – good or bad! Pair it with rice, keropok or even kueh.


Belachan Tempoyak Durian




30g Belachan
2 tbsp Oil
10 Red chilli (chopped coarsely)
15 Chilli Padi (chopped coarsely)
6 Shallots (chopped coarsely)
5 cloves Garlic (chopped coarsely)
10 seeds Durian (deseeded)
5 Calamansi (juiced)
1 tbsp Sugar
½ tsp Salt



1. Fry belachan (without oil) over low heat until it disintegrates and becomes fragrant.
2. Add oil, chillies, shallots and garlic. Fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, add durian and mix well.
4. Add calamansi juice, sugar and salt. Mix thoroughly and let it cool.
5. Serve as a dip or as a condiment during meals, or just swirl it with a bowl of rice.


Helpful note: Adjust the recipe to your preferred thickness/consistency by adding calamansi juice and sugar.