Kuala Lumpur fruits are tasty & healthy! Malaysia is blessed with tropical climate all year-round, which is conducive to the healthy growth of myriad species of fruits.
This fertile land nurtures at least 370 species of native fruits! These includes the thorny-skinned durian (dubbed the King of Fruits), the hairy rambutans, langsat and salak.
Many of the local fruits are now cultivated in orchards while some not so common ones are still harvested in their natural habitat — the forests.
The durian, rambutans, mangosteen, duku and langsat are the most popular native Malaysian fruits, while the cempedak, nangka (jackfruit) and salak takes second place.
Here's a list of local tropical fruits in Kuala Lumpur with their scientific names.
- Durian (durio zibethinus) Star fruit (averrhoa carambola)
- Papaya (carica papaya)
- Cempedak (artocarpus cempedan)
- Langsat (lansium domesticum)
- Mango (mangifera indica)
- Ciku (manikara zapota)
- Guava (psidium guajava)
- Mangosteen (garcinia mangostana)
- Nangka (Jackfruit) (artocarpus heterophyllus)
- Pineapple (ananas comosus)
- Rambutan (nephelium lappaceum) Watermelon (citrullus vulgaris)
Kuala Lumpur fruits are generally eaten fresh, but occasionally used in desserts and juices as well. Let's have a look at each of the local fruits.
Durian is a thorny green fruit called the ‘king of fruits’ by locals. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance. Others find the aroma overpowering with an unpleasant, rotting odour.
The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust. If you hate it probably you would describe the smell as as rotten onions, turpentine, garbage and raw sewage. But if love durians like most of Malaysians — the smell is like heaven!
The persistence of its odour, which may linger for several days, has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Malaysia.
The overwhelming scent and it's prickly outer shell are enough to send tourist running away. However, I think you should give durian a taste before you judge it for good. Durian's golden-brown seeds are covered with juicy, creamy flesh that tastes rich, sweet, unique and exotic. Must try!
2: Star Fruit
Do you love Star fruit? I bet you do. But do you know that the Star fruit is also known as Belimbing (Malaysia), Carambolier (French), Ma Fueng (Thailand), Fuang (Laos), Khe (Vietnam)? I bet you don't!
Star fruits are really nice to look at, and of course…. is a pleasure to your tastebud. Its mild, sweet, sub-acid flavor complements many commercial juice drinks, and the fruit is also often eaten out hand.
Crisp in texture, the fruit is said to help lower your blood pressure.When cut, slices of the fruit have a star shape, and often adorn salads and other dishes.
The ripe fruit of the papaya is usually eaten raw, without skin or seeds. The unripe green fruit can be eaten cooked, usually in curries, salads, and stews.
Papaya fruit is a deep orange with a smooth texture and moist, honey-flavoured flesh.
The fleshy, edible arils surround the large, seeds, which is edible by boiling or roasting, in a thick layer. It is yellowish-white to orange in color, sweet and fragrant, soft, slippery and slimy on the tongue and a bit fibrous. The taste of the fruit is similar to the related jackfruit and breadfruit with a hint of durian.
The outer shell of the seasonal cempedak resembles green durian fruit, minus the thick thorns. Once its outer skin is split in half to reveal its inner contents, you will find golden orange fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Locals love to dip the striped off fruit flesh in a flour mixture and deep fry it in oil, resulting in a popular crispy cempedak fritters.
Langsar fruits look much like small potatoes and are borne in clusters similar to grapes. The larger fruits are on the variety known as duku. It is covered by thin, yellow hair giving a slightly fuzzy aspect.
Langsat contains 1 to 3 seeds, flat, and bitter tasting; the seeds are covered with a thick,translucent flesh that tastes sweet and sour. The taste of Langsat has been likened to a combination of grape and grapefruit.
Mangoes are generally sweet, although the taste and texture of the flesh varies across cultivars; some have a soft, pulpy texture similar to an overripe plum, while others are firmer, like a cantaloupe or avocado, and some may have a fibrous texture.
Native to Southeast Asia, mango is a juicy fruit with very sweet flesh, ranging in colour from light yellow to golden orange; the darker its hue, the sweeter the fruit.
7: Ciku / Sapodilla
This small brown fruit with tiny furry fibres on its easy-to-peel outer skin has flesh ranges from a pale yellow to an earthy brown color with a grainy texture akin to that of a well-ripened pear.
Each fruit contains one to six seeds. The seeds are hard, glossy, and black, resembling beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed.
The fruit has an exceptionally sweet, moist, malty flavor.
The light green guava fruit also known as "jambu batu" is popular in Malaysia for its hard texture and juicy, briny taste.
Locals love the sweet and sour addition of asam boi. It can be eaten with its outer skin, which has a slightly bitter flavour, or peeled, which gives a fruit that oozes sweet, juicy water.
The fruit is divided into three sections: its smooth, tough, thickouter skin is a deep royal purple and is easy to peel once penetrated.Just beneath this surface is the white fruit that is sweet, moist and sometimes a little sour.
The mangosteen's flesh the flesh bears an exceptionally mild aroma.It boasts a wealth of health benefits such as high antioxidant content, immune-boosting vitamin C, and even anti-inflammatory properties.
Shaped almost exactly the same as cempedak, nangka (jackfruit) is slightly larger though and available all year round.
Nangkat can be eaten raw or dipped in flour and deep fried as a snack.
Pineapples can be eaten raw, cooked, juiced or preserved. They are found in a wide array of cuisines.
Its health benefits have helped it reach immense popularity in Malaysia, with locals swearing by its high vitamin C, iron and vitamin A.
Pineapple flesh is hard, sweet-tasting but with a slight tangy undertone – the fruit has to be cut with care, as the acidic content of the small dark pigments on the flesh can cause tongue irritation.
Rambutan is a hairy fruits with incredibly sweet and juicy white flesh.The fruit are usually sold fresh, used in making jams and jellies, or canned.
Watermelon is a popular fruit in Kuala Lumpur mainly due to its red flesh has such excellent thirst-quenching properties.
A large round fruit with a hard green outer layer, the juicy red flesh is popularly blended with sugar water and served over ice at street stalls and restaurants. There is also watermelon with juicy yellow flesh which taste as good as the red one.