Golden Swallow durian with unusual dual seed configuration

Has anyone heard of a Golden Swallow durian?

golden swallow durian segment

I was out getting some durians when I came across this stall explaining the virtues of this particular strain of durian to an elderly lady. He didn’t pay much attention to me as he made his pitch – it’s called Golden Swallow (jin yan zi) and it’s very popular in Singapore.

golden swallow durians

This Golden Swallow durian sounds a little like Golden Phoenix to me (except the latter is called jin feng) and apparently just a few of these babies drop in the orchards each day. The durian seller only had two and the lady bought one of them.

golden phoenix durian

I was intrigued when he opened it up – the flesh looks really good – yellow with a reddish hue and I asked the durian seller how much it was. He quoted me a price of RM 8 / kg which is about the same price as XO strain is right about now.

golden swallow durian spikes

He started doing his pitch again, this time to me, and I told him I heard what he said to the lady. I was more interested in the origins of the Golden Swallow – the dude, named Ah Ti, usually operates out of SS3 in Petaling Jaya and they have their own orchard, from which comes this new durian.

Well, it’s new to me coz I haven’t had it before.

golden swallow durian

I told him I wanted two but he said he only had one left after selling the other to the lady and opened it up for my inspection. It looks good and I haven’t had a Golden Swallow durian before so I bought the one that was left. It’s 1.7 kg but the guy gave me a discount and sold it at 1.5 kg – RM 14.

tiny seed

Golden Swallow taste notes:

  • Bitter to slightly bitter-sweet
  • Wet/runny/watery
  • Little to no fiber – very creamy
  • Pungent with lots of fresh
  • Unusual dual configuration seeds

durian flesh

Eating the durian:

large seed durian

First, a large seed…


Followed by a tiny one…


It’s the same large-tiny arrangement throughout the segment!


The dual configuration seeds is perhaps the most telling aspect of the Golden Swallow. It looks like this:

golden swallow seeds

It’s remarkably consistent! There’s 4 whole segments and it produced:

Huge seed – tiny seed
Huge seed – tiny seed
Huge seed – tiny seed
Huge seed

jin yan zi

I think I might have accidentally eaten that last tiny seed. It’s smaller than my fingernail! I got the person to write down the name in Chinese for me on the box and I got his number so he can tell me when there’s a fall in his orchard.

golden swallow durian flesh

I reckon this Golden Swallow durian is absolute value for money if you like durians with the taste notes above. It also has a characteristic huge-tiny seed configuration that’s consistent throughout the entire durian. It’s always in a pair – each segment will have one large seed and one tiny one, the size of my fingernail.

jing yan zhi

I can see why it’s called Golden Swallow if the seed configuration is that unique.

Has anyone heard of this strain/cultivar? It’s called Golden Swallow and I think the most distinctive part about it is the seeds. Just look at the tiny-large seed consistency in one segment below! It also has wrinkly skin that barely holds in the deliciously bitter creamy flesh inside.

durian seeds

I would definitely buy it again – it’s cheap right now at RM 8 / kg and a truly remarkable durian!

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22 thoughts on “Golden Swallow durian with unusual dual seed configuration”

  1. I dunno about durians from Malaysia but in Singapore all Golden Phoenix durians have small seeds. It’s not one big one small like this. I think it’s a different one. Golden Phoenix will also cost at least S$50 per durian. 🙂

    • Yeah, that’s what I figured too – all Golden Phoenix has small seeds, maybe this is a type of it that’s somehow cultivated with another type which produces dissimilar seeds.

      It’s possible – a lot of “characteristics” gets lost in some plantations due to soil, temperature, cross cultivation etc.

      I know, Golden Phoenix is expensive! Cheers mate! 🙂

    • Hey there Denise! 🙂

      These are all Malaysian durians. They come from a variety of plantations – this one is from Seremban.

      The Thailand durians I’ve had aren’t exactly as varied in taste and texture as Malaysian ones – we have a lot of D-X cataloged cultivars (e.g. D24/Sultan) as well as unofficial strains (not D-cataloged).

      I prefer local Malaysian durians – the closer the orchard, the better. 🙂

      Cheers Denise!

    • Can! It’s better during the October season though – it seems that there’s a difference between durian seasons here and Sarawak.

      It’s peak season in Sarawak now – durians for as cheap as 30 cents per durian!

      Sure, I’ll buzz you next time Yee Ling! 🙂

    • Yeah, too bad it can’t be sent!

      I had a Sarawak genus durian the day before, it’s really good, what they call overpowering “alcoholic smell” (fermentation ethanol?) like XO and the like.

      It’s a bit different now that it’s been taken from Sarawak and planted here (soil etc) but it’s called Batu Merah back home. Have you heard of it?

      Cheers buddy! 🙂

      • The red-coloured wild durians? I had some that day, not really fond of it. Has a peculiar taste and smell but I know some people love it a lot. I prefer the pakon – the golden orangy yellow ones.

        • Hmm…I don’t think it’s that one. It could be but it’ll be HIGHLY unusual for it to deviate from it’s base characteristics to become a full fledged durian that’s not even tinged red for the outer skin.

          I don’t like it either – too fibrous for me, which makes it tough. I prefer wet durians.

          Nice! Yeah, there’s a lot of golden orange ones over here, my current favorite is this Golden Swallow. Durian jantung is good too, expensive (RM 10 / kg) with only two seeds but those seeds are full of meat so it’s worth it.

          Cheers! 🙂

    • Haha! True that, sometimes you can get good durians from the all-you-can-eat buffets too.

      I heard they give 1 good durian for 3 “bad” ones to stuff you up first. Heh.

      Cheers Charmaine! 🙂

    • Hello Petet!

      I don’t know where in SS3 they’re usually at, it’s a mobile stall, but they’re setup in the middle of the SS2 night market on Mondays – just outside the food court.

      Hope that helps! 🙂

    • Indeed! It’s quite amazing eh, what they do with breeding durian cultivars. 🙂

      I like how it’s consistently 1 large seed paired with 1 tiny seed for each segment. It is the national fruit after all.

      Er…I think? I didn’t actually check. Haha.

      Cheers buddy! 🙂


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