Exotic Fruit: Buah Isu

I've been teaching in the Iban motherland for more than 1 year now & I have tasted many exotic fruits exclusively available only within these quiet secluded timber forests.
Now, don't you smirk at me! You perverted baskets I call friends are thinking about a different 'fruit'!
There are no innuendos here. The exotic fruits that I'm talking about are REAL fruits.

First, let me introduce you to the cousin of the king of fruits...

Buah Isu

Buah Isu resembles it's cousin, the Durian, but I was told that it is NOT in the Durian family.
The spikes are longer & they are sharper.
They are also very much smaller than the Durians. It's about the size of a man's palm.
It has a pleasantly sweet fragrance which is not pungent like the Durian's.

Because of it's size, it is easily opened with a cleaver.
After opening my first Isu, I couldn't help but bounce off the walls in gay laughter.
It was all too amusing to me!
I thought that it would look like a Durian on the inside but...

It's cute little fruitlettes are orange in colour!
And they come in adorably small sizes!
If I were to export Durians to Japan, I'd end up bankrupt.
But if I were to export these Isu fruits & pass them off as mini-Durians, I would make millions capitalising on their obsession of all things small & cute!
hoho~~ the Chinaman in me speaks!

Well, the flesh is orange in colour with dark earth brown coloured seeds.
The flesh is thin & it has a peculiar taste. It definitely doesn't taste like a Durian.
It tastes sweet like a blend between the Cempedak fruit & the bubblegum candy flavour.
It is like nothing you've ever tasted before!
I like it but, like the Durian, it is not something that I'd be fond of eating every day.

When you are in Sarawak, esp in the Kapit or Sibu region, look out for Buah Isu in the Iban markets.
They cost only RM5 for a cluster of 5-6 in Song but I expect it to cost a lot more once it gets to more urban areas.
I'll be bringing some back to Kuching as a CNY treat for my family.
Want some exotic 'fruit'?

Note (30/11/2012): An anonymous commenter of Borneoan origins said that this fruit is actually 'Buah Nyekak'. I'm sticking to 'Buah Isu' because I got it from Ibans in Song, Sarawak, & shared it with other Ibans in the area. They called the fruit 'Buah Isu'.
I looked for images on the internet & the Buah Nyekak & Buah Isu look very similar. Having tasted Buah Isu, I wonder what Nyekak tastes like. hahaha~~


  1. Got carried away by the ''bubblegum'' description. Buah Isu.

    So gonna try that in the future

  2. I think I ate this fruit before! I think at Sabah they call 'em 'Durian Kampung' now I know they're not from the Durian family. Ha!

  3. Seriously?? It's good?
    Must try must try! =D

  4. Inside nampak macam cempedak, outside nampak macam durian. Taste like bubblegum? Heehee!! Sounded like so comel! Must try!! :D

  5. Anonymous31/1/10 07:26

    Nice! I like it... Not like the durian and not like buah pakon, another similar variety. You'll have to try that next! LOL!!!

  6. Vio: Imagine a fruit that tastes like bubblegum. Magic isnt it?

    Connie: There are many different types of durians. You may have eaten something similar.

    Jon: Come live with me in the jungle & you can eat every day! Cheap! RM1 each!

    Jessica: Yes, they are COMEL! I laughed so hard when I looked at them!

    Arthur: I'm glad you liked it. It definitely is something new that you wouldn't have tried yourself!

  7. My favorite.hehe.Yes,it does taste like bubblegum.

    Gee.Picture of exotic food makes me feel like flying back home.

  8. Pame: One day you'll be back. Then you can have all of the fruits you want!

    Izzy: Nice leh? Transfer to Sarawak la~

  9. Wallaaauww...the durian picture looks really good. I am really jealous that I really want to go home soon! It's quite rare to have fresh durian in here unless willing to fly to SF. Even if there is fresh durian, the price is so expensive. Keep up with the blogging.

  10. Pizookie: Well, at least you've got pizookies in the US. haha~~

    SY: Come! Come!

  11. pizookie, that is not the durian. It is buah Isu. Only can be found in sarawak, i guess.. It like durian phisically, but smaller in size ad it tastes better...far better

  12. that one, not "buah isu", but "buah nyekak"..i am borneo origin.If "buah isu is red color,..

    1. Hey, thanks for the correction. No doubt as a native you grew up with these things.
      I actually got this from an Iban native in Song & shared this with other Ibans from the area. They called it an Isu too.
      I'll add a footnote. Thanks again!

  13. Anonymous4/1/13 12:44

    These are durian isu for sure because durian nyekak or durian ukak are bigger with brownish orange skin and whiskers growing at the base of the stem atached to the fruits,thicker flesh,less aromatic but a lot sweeter than durian isu.

    1. Wow! Thanks! Learned something new today! =)

  14. Anonymous4/1/13 12:46


  15. Anonymous4/1/13 12:49

    durian ukak or buan pakan has shorter spikes than durian isu.

  16. there're lot of kind of durian,thank you so much and welcom to my blog



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