13 Malay Fruits To Eat In Malaysia

If you love fruit, Malaysia is the place for you. This vibrant nation located on the Malay Peninsula is one of few unique areas on Earth with the perfect biological sphere to grow amazing, tasty fruits. The warm tropical climate and excessive rainfall mean that the domestic produce is delicious, plentiful, and, as a bonus – good for you!

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What Makes Malay Fruits So Unique?

Malay fruits are unique for many reasons. The warm climates, coupled with the fertile ground, mean that many fruits flourish and develop many variants over years of cultivation. Malaysia is also home to some of the most diverse edible fruits in the world. Everything from common apples to the juicy langsat is grown on the Malaysian peninsula. 

Some Malaysian fruits are non-seasonal and available year-round for hungry customers. For example, you can find papaya, pineapple, guava, and bananas at any time of year in Malaysian grocery stores or fresh fruit markets, and much of it will be grown domestically. 

Tropical fruits are also highly nutritious. Rich with vitamins, micronutrients, healthy fats, and proteins, Malay fruits are recognized worldwide for their health benefits and contribution to the locals’ longevity. 

Curious about other fruits to eat when traveling in Southeast Asia?

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13 Malay Fruits For You To Try In Malaysia

Malay Fruits To Eat In Malaysia
Malay Fruits To Eat In Malaysia

If you want to eat these unique local fruits, you can find most of them in grocery stores or fresh fruit markets around Malaysia. In a hurry? You can also grab some of them at or near airports – but be prepared to pay a premium for the convenience!

Ciku Or Sapodilla

Also known as the sapodilla, ciku originated in Central America and made its way to Malaysia in the early 18th century. These tasty tropical fruits are renowned for their decadent flavor, which has been compared to dates or honey. 

Ciku is another nonseasonal fruit in Malaysia – these small, brown fruits are available year-round, making them a popular choice for local desserts. You can find ciku in its fresh form at markets or grocery stores or venture into a local restaurant to try ciku mousse, cakes, and smoothies.

Guava

guava

Guavas are a yellowish tropical fruit that is one of the most common fruits in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, however, the guavas are red and highly decorative. The non-seasonal fruit is available year-round and is relatively expensive – you can expect to pay around RM8 per pound for this luxury fruit.

These tropical Malay fruits are famous for their sweet-sour taste and ability to liven up any dessert or juice drink. Guavas are often eaten fresh in Malaysia, though you will find them as an ingredient in many roadside juice vendors.

Guavas are also famous for their health benefits. Known to have high levels of Vitamin A and C, guavas also pack a punch of iron, potassium, and calcium for a nutritional booster shot. 

Jackfruit

jackfruit

One of the more well-known fruits local to Malaysia, jackfruit has become more popular in the last decade because of its properties as a meat substitute. This large, spiky fruit is nonseasonal, one of the more popular fruits in Malaysia, and can be eaten at any stage of ripening. 

Unripe jackfruit has a savory taste and is used in soups and stews in many local restaurants and markets. On the other hand, Ripe jackfruit has a sweet and honey-like flavor and will often be the star of ice creams, desserts, and fruit salads. If you have the patience, you can also eat the seeds – so long as they’ve been boiled and roasted first!

Snake Fruit

snake fruit

Of all the local fruits in Malaysia, the snake fruit has the most obvious name. The exterior of this Malaysian fruit is covered in hundreds of thin scales, similar to that of a python. Don’t let that put you off, though – the flesh of the snake fruit is delicious and juicy and tastes like eating a combination of pineapple and banana. 

The Malaysian fruit name for snake fruit is salak – try using this next time you go to a local market to purchase some fresh Malay fruits! Snake fruit is in season from July to September on the east coast of Malaysia, and December to January and May to July on the west coast. 

Cempedak

If you like jackfruit, you’re going to love cempedak! This Malay fruit is smaller than its well-known cousin – however, what the cempedak lacks in size, it makes up for in scent and taste. Cempedak 

While the waxy, golden flesh can be eaten raw, you’re more likely to find Malaysian locals eating bags of fried cempedak at night markets and festivals. When cooked, the flesh softens and takes on a texture similar to a firm sweet potato and is absolutely delicious!

To get your hands on cempedak, make sure you visit at the right time of year. These Malaysian fruits are in season from May to July, with a shorter season between mid-November and early February. 

Rambutan

rambutan

Sometimes confused for lychee, rambutan’s popularity exploded on the small bar and novelty drinks scene in recent years. A popular ingredient in cocktails, desserts, and bubble teas, rambutan fruits are grown in the south of Malaysia and are one of the country’s chief produce exports. 

Don’t be deterred by the spiky red shell – rambutan’s inner flesh is sweet, grainy, and refreshing. You can buy bags of fresh rambutan from street vendors in major cities like Kuala Lumpur or visit one of Malaysia’s thousands of produce markets and eat them as you browse. Rambutans are in season from May to December and favorite with locals for their sweetness and variability. 

Duka Langsat

Another Malay fruit closely related to the lychee, duka langsat, are seasonal fruits grown in Malaysia between June and August. These fruits have a clear flesh, through which the seed can be seen, and light can be shone. 

Duka langsat is another Malaysian tropical fruit that has substantial health benefits. The transparent flesh is high in fiber and vitamin E, making these sweet treats great for digestion and preventing certain types of cancer. 

Duka langsat is usually eaten fresh, with the flesh scooped out with a spoon or fingers. Buy a bag from a local fruit market and see what all the fuss is about!

Durian

durian

When talking about Malay fruits, where better to start than the national fruit of Malaysia! Known in many parts of Asia as the ‘king of fruits, this unique Malay fruit has caused much controversy in recent years! Easily identifiable by their spiky exterior and distinctive smell, durians have been banned on many forms of public transport around Malaysia and Singapore.

The scent has been likened to ‘wet socks,’ but if you can push past it, these local fruits in Malaysia have a wicked, sweet and creamy taste likened to a thick custard. So grab a spoon and eat the flesh right out of the shell – just like the locals do!

Mangosteen

mangosteen

If the durian is the king of fruits from Malaysia, mangosteen is the queen. The two Malay fruits often accompany each other at feasts, as their growing seasons align perfectly. There is another reason for the nickname – the top of the mangosteen looks like a crown!

The leathery purple rind of these local Malay fruits belies the sweet, edible flesh inside. The delicious white morsels are segmented, like an orange, and easy to pull apart for eating. 

Despite their Malay fruit names indicating otherwise, mangosteens are relatively inexpensive – a pound of this Malaysian fruit goes for around RM4 at markets and grocery stores. 

Papaya

One of Malaysia’s non-seasonal fruits, papaya is well-recognized for its distinctive coloring and sugary-sweet texture when dried. These fruits are local in Malaysia, so it’s a great idea to try one on its home soil!

As well as its sweet, light taste, papaya is well-known for its nutritional properties. The orange flesh and skin are rich in vitamins A and C and can prevent colds and lower fevers.  

The rich oils found in the black seeds are ideal for body butter, skincare, and treatments – you’ll even find some papaya varieties in well-known cosmetic companies like the Body Shop.

In Malaysia, papaya is most commonly eaten fresh – you won’t have any trouble locating this common Malaysian fruit as it is sold by street vendors year-round. 

Pomelo

Pomelo fruits come from the citrus family and put the grapefruit to shame with their size – a fully ripe pomelo will often be the size of a small soccer ball. The taste is similar to grapefruit or bitter orange. Zesty, sweet, and a little tart, pomelos are a perfect choice for a summer fruit snack. 

Originating in China, this zesty Malaysian fruit is incredibly popular in areas like Perak. In addition, the surrounding soil is rich in minerals, perfect for creating thriving pomelo farms.

Pomelo also has roots in Malaysian and Chinese culture. These large citrus fruits are highly prized during holiday and festive seasons, as they are a sign of good luck and prosperity in the New Year. 

Rose Apple

rose apple

Last on the list is the rose apple or Malaysian apple. The Malaysian fruit name for rose apples is jambu air, translating to ‘water apple.’ This is thought to be in reference to the plentiful juice that resides in the succulent fruit flesh. 

Rose apples are very similar to the apples you know; they have a similar shape, a crunchy texture, and a sweet, slightly tart flavor when eaten. They’re prevalent across the country and are even grown in other parts of Southeast Asia. 

If you’re after the best rose apples in Malaysia, make sure to visit between May and September or November and March. Then, eat your rose apples like a local – with both hands and giant bites!

Tasty Fruits From Malaysia

Malaysian fruits aren’t the only reason you should visit this beautiful country, but they are a perfect one! If you can travel, make sure to stop by Malaysia to sample the local produce amidst all the sightseeing. With the delicious tastes, refreshing textures, and vitamin boosts – trust us, it’s worth it!

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