Types of Malaysian durians, tastes, and pricing.

With so many different types of durians in the market, we pay homage to the King of Fruits with a taste test of some of the more popular types around town

By Julia Yeow


Back in the good ol’ days of mobile phones that could only make calls and send text messages, durians were just about as simple as technology was. All a durian lover needed to know was how to distinguish Malaysian ‘kampung’ durians from Thai durians.


Durian runtuh!

Today, we have so many different grades and species of durians, it’s hard to keep track. All durian species come with a registered agriculture number beginning with D, like D24, D101, D18, and so on. So what sets each thorny fruit apart from the other? We donned our loose clothes, clipped our nails short (all the better to dig those fingers in), and headed for some popular durian stalls around KL and PJ to embark on a taste test. Here are our results:



D18 remains a solid and affordable choice

The D18 was sweetish, with a faintly bitter aftertaste. While the flesh was a tad on the watery side, it was nonetheless very satisfying and a perfect choice for durian lovers who aren’t keen on mega rich and creamy textures. At RM16 per kg, it’s also one of the cheaper durians available after durian kampung.



Let D24′s rich fillings give you that satisfying feeling

If thick, gooey, rich, and creamy flesh is what you fantasise over, then head straight for the D24s. I almost had problems getting the first mouthful down my throat! The taste of the durian, though, was rather mild compared to its texture, and sweetish. If you go for more mouth-feel and want a really filling durian experience, but are not too keen on strong flavours (and smell), then D24 is your thing. Pricing for the day was RM18 per kg.

Teka/Green Bamboo (Chut-keok in Cantonese)


Bittersweet and prone to weather conditions

The flesh was bittersweet, definitely slightly more on the bitter side. If you love bitter durian that isn’t dry, then Teka would be perfect for you. The texture was a bit on the watery side, although this species of durian usually yields creamy, gooey flesh. At RM25 per kg, it’s worth the price but be sure to check with your durian seller if the flesh is creamy or watery. According to Sue from Donald’s Durian, the texture of the durian flesh is very much dependent on weather conditions. So to be sure you don’t get disappointed, just ask, and hopefully your durian guy is honest.

Black Thorn


Black Thorn’s fancy name comes with a hefty price tag

This species is fairly new in the market, and the durians hail from Penang. The orange-tinted flesh is extremely creamy and thick, filling your mouth with a decadent, luxurious mouth-feel. However, the taste was disappointingly mild. We expected so much more, but the durian could neither be classified as sweet, nor bitter. At a whopping RM36 per kg, I wouldn’t give it another try unless the durian seller convinces me the ones we tried were not the norm.

Red Prawn

The Red Prawn durians also hail from Penang, and are characterised by the reddish-orangey colour of the durian flesh. The durian tasted sweet, and flesh slightly watery. Not a very memorable experience, but at RM16 a kg, it’ll still manage to satisfy those cravings and leave you some balance to try other durians.


Wash down all that durian goodness with some fresh coconut juice

Musang King


Musang king remains a very popular choice amongst durian aficionados

Possibly one of the most popular grades of durians now, Musang King really lived up to its name of being worth every sen you pay for it. At first bite, you will be overcome with the sensation of rich, creamy, and smooth flesh that glides effortlessly down your throat. The Musang King’s flesh is bitter and dry, just the way we love it. Definitely worth the RM32 per kg we paid for it. Prices range from as low as RM22, depending on the size of this Pahang native.


pic by agnessia.com


Strong and bitter, the XO is one not to be missed

The XO durian is probably the bitterest durian I have ever tasted … and I absolutely loved it! Its colour can be a bit deceiving as it is pale, and looks a bit like curdled cream. But as soon as the durian enters your mouth, you forget about the need to be civilised in a public place because you just can’t help but get all dramatic over the soft, creamy, and gooey flesh. The dryness and heavenly bitterness hits you immediately, and the fact that the seeds are tiny just increases the enjoyment level because that just means more flesh. XO was priced at RM25 per kg that day, and totally worth every sen! A must-try for bitter durian lovers who want to veer away from the more popular Musang King.

So there goes our taste test of some of the most popular durians available. Now it’s time to head out to satisfy those cravings.


Now that’s how you gorge on some tasty durian!

Published on 28 August 2014.
NOTE: The prices of durian as of the time of publishing.

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Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

6 thoughts on “Types of Malaysian durians, tastes, and pricing.”

    1. Very informative, providing a very detail descriptions of the most popular durians grown in Malaysia. I will then definitely take the Musang King for my dinner tonight.


  1. Appreciate the effort and information. But you’ve got the same durian photo for Musang King and XO, which obviously is incorrect.

    Also, the durian shown in Red Prawn does not look like Red Prawn either. The photo shows a durian flesh that’s more yellow than the orangey-red of Red Prawn durians.

    Still appreciate the effort, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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