Instead of using a cleaver, the durian trader uses only a Swiss Army knife. What a bad-ss!
We Malaysians often shake our heads in disapproval whenever we watch non-Southeast Asians appear on television or popular YouTube channels to cut open a durian
Would they slice the entire fruit in half or would they cut open a section of the fruit as if it is a coconut and carve out the flesh?
The possibilities are endless for them.
However, to set the record straight for viewers in China, a Malaysian has gone on a variety show to teach 1.3 billion China nationals how to effortlessly open up the thorny bad boys
Using only a Swiss Army knife, durian exporter Loh Wee Keng demonstrates step by step how Malaysians cut open the King of Fruits in an episode of Connections (梅卿看世界) aired on Hainan TV recently.
“Durians are delicious, but they are very difficult to open. Do you have any tricks?” asked show host Mei Qing.
To which Loh replied, “Yes, there are tricks to it. First, we need the basic tools, such as a pair of hand gloves and a small knife.”
“We need to cut off the stem first because it is obtrusive.”
Then, Loh shows how to gently slice the durian up by following the visible lines on the bottom of the fruit
After forming a few openings with his knife, Loh — who is also the vice chairman of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (Maycham China) — uses the same knife to pry open the fruit’s husk.
As he slowly exerts force to divide the durian with his hands, the fruit tears open easily, proving that one does not need brute force to open a durian.
Within 30 seconds, the golden yellow pulp is revealed.
Of course, the feat elicits gasps from the show’s host, guests, and audience
“It felt like an easy task,” said a guest of the show as Loh jubilantly shows the yummy durian to the camera.
Once they realise Loh — who is wearing a suit — is not just a businessman, but also a hands-on durian expert, questions start flowing in.
“How does one differentiate which durian has more flesh than the other?” asks host Mei Qing.
“By listening to the number of individual pulps knocking against the shell of the fruit while you shake the fruit,” Loh answers.
He also shares the technique to picking tasty durians is by smelling the bottom of the fruit as the area has the thinnest shell.
Using his familiar Malaysian-Chinese accent, he then invites the show host and Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Raja Nushirwan Zainal Abidin to taste the durian.
“This is the first time in my life that I have encountered durian up close,” relates Mei Qing.
“I must thank (one of the show guests) for encouraging me or else I would have never been able to try it.”
As everyone feasts on the King of Fruits with smiles on their faces, questions about durians continue pouring in, such as what does the tree of the fruit look like and how many durians can a tree produce in its lifetime, among others.
All in all, it is a happy durian sharing session.
China’s love for durian has grown over the years. In the past, the country only imported the pulp and paste of the fruit from Malaysia.
It was not until June 2019 that China approved the import of whole durians in frozen conditions.
According to The Star, China imported 3,200 tonnes of frozen durian pulp and paste from Malaysia in 2018.
By 2019, Malaysia’s export of the fruit to China surged more than two times to 7,700 tonnes or RM286 million in value.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia economic and commercial counselor Shi Ziming said the sale of Malaysian durians in China increased by tenfold in March 2020 after a Chinese fruit e-commerce company promoted the fruit on its platform.
Watch Loh masterfully open a durian:
Meanwhile, click here if you wish to watch the full 30-minute segment of the show, which includes Malaysian Ambassador to China Raja Nushirwan sharing what Malaysia is like to the Chinese audience.
Our colleagues at SAYS could use a few tips from Loh:
By : Yap Wan Xiang – SAYS.com