5 Exotic Asian Fruits And How To Use Them
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Asia is a land of unparalleled natural wonders, and its exotic national fruits are no exception. In this article, we will embark on a flavourful journey to discover five unique fruits that are cherished as national treasures in various Asian countries. From the spiky marvel of the jackfruit to the aromatic delights of the durian, prepare to be amazed by these extraordinary fruits and the mouthwatering dishes they inspire.

Jackfruit - The Prized Wonder:

Jackfruit, often hailed as the "King of Fruits" in South Asia, is a marvel to behold. Encased in a spiky green exterior, the jackfruit hides a treasure trove of golden-yellow, fibrous flesh. This tropical giant is enjoyed in both ripe and unripe forms. When ripe, the fruit's sweetness takes centre stage, making it a delightful snack or a delicious addition to desserts. In its unripe state, jackfruit transforms into a meaty and versatile ingredient, lending itself to curries, stir-fries, and even vegan "pulled pork" sandwiches.

Mangosteen - The Queen of Flavors:

Mangosteen, revered as the "Queen of Fruits," boasts a regal crown-like appearance. Underneath its deep purple rind lies a creamy, tangy-sweet flesh divided into juicy segments. This fruit is a true delicacy, and its taste is often described as a divine blend of strawberry, citrus, and peach. Mangosteen is best enjoyed fresh, but it is also a star ingredient in fruit salads, smoothies, and refreshing sorbets. It's exquisite flavour and captivating aroma make it a must-try for fruit enthusiasts.

Dragon Fruit - The Exotic Beauty:

With its vibrant pink or yellow skin and striking speckled flesh, the dragon fruit is a true tropical beauty. This fruit, also known as pitaya, possesses a subtly sweet flavour reminiscent of a cross between a kiwi and a pear. Dragon fruit is a versatile ingredient, lending its eye-catching appeal to colourful fruit bowls, refreshing smoothies, and unique desserts. Its refreshing taste and stunning appearance make it a favourite among food lovers seeking an exotic treat.

Durian - The Pungent Delight:

Durian, an acquired taste for many, is an iconic fruit in Southeast Asia, notorious for its divisive aroma. Encased in a spiky exterior, the creamy, custard-like flesh of the durian is revered by its devoted fans. While some describe its flavour as a mix of sweet, creamy, and nutty, others find it challenging to embrace. Regardless of personal preference, durian is celebrated in an array of dishes such as durian ice cream, durian pancakes, and even savoury curries. It's unique taste and distinct fragrance make it an unforgettable culinary experience.

Buddha's Hand - The Citrus Wonder:

Buddha's Hand, an intriguing and otherworldly fruit, is native to Northeastern India and China. Resembling a yellow, multi-fingered citron, this fruit is captivating in appearance and aroma. It lacks the typical juicy flesh found in most fruits, but its fragrant peel is highly prized for its intense citrus scent. Buddha's Hand is often used as a zest or aromatic garnish in cocktails, desserts, and infused oils. Its captivating shape and refreshing fragrance make it a remarkable addition to any culinary creation.

Asia's exotic national fruits are a testament to the region's biodiversity and cultural richness. From the majestic jackfruit and the regal mangosteen to the vibrant dragon fruit, the unique flavours and culinary possibilities of these fruits are truly extraordinary. Whether you're exploring the sweet depths of the jackfruit or summoning the courage to embrace the aromatic durian, these fruits and the dishes they inspire promise a sensory adventure like no other. So, embark on a gastronomic journey, taste these exceptional fruits, and immerse yourself in the tantalising flavours of Asia.

Here are two delicious dish recipes inspired by the exotic national fruits mentioned in the article:

Jackfruit Curry


2 cups ripe jackfruit, seeds removed and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-inch piece of ginger, grated

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 can of coconut milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until it turns translucent.
  2. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger to the pan. Stir and cook for another minute.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder. Mix well.
  4. Add the spice mixture to the pan and stir to coat the onions, garlic, and ginger.
  5. Add the jackfruit pieces to the pan and sauté for a few minutes until they are lightly browned.
  6. Pour in the coconut milk and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let the curry simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the jackfruit is tender and the flavours are well blended.
  7. Season with salt to taste and garnish with fresh cilantro.
  8. Serve the jackfruit curry hot with steamed rice or naan bread for a satisfying meal.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl


1 dragon fruit, peeled and cut into chunks

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup frozen berries (such as strawberries or blueberries)

1/2 cup coconut water or almond milk

Toppings: sliced fresh fruits, granola, chia seeds, shredded coconut, nuts


  1. In a blender, combine the dragon fruit chunks, banana, frozen berries, and coconut water/almond milk. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour the smoothie into a bowl.
  3. Top the smoothie bowl with your favourite toppings, such as sliced fresh fruits, granola, chia seeds, shredded coconut, and nuts.

Enjoy the refreshing and colourful dragon fruit smoothie bowl for a nutritious breakfast or snack.

These recipes showcase the versatility of the exotic national fruits and allow you to experience their unique flavours in different culinary preparations. Enjoy the culinary adventure!