Boiled Seeds: Artocarpus Camansi

Artocarpus Camansi.

YOU KNOW HOW SOME NUTS ARE ACTUALLY SEEDS AND HOW SOME SEEDS ARE ACTUALLY FRUITS? For example, candle nuts (buah keras) and nutmegs (buah pala) are actually seeds. Meanwhile, coriander seeds (ketumbar) are in fact dried fruits. I once asked my friend the difference between nuts and seeds, he said: “Doesn’t matter which one is which, they got mixed anyway in your stomach when you eat them.” I quite agree with him…

By the way, this post is about a fruit that many people don’t know about. The Melanau calls it ‘tupang’ and the Iban calls it ‘buah pulor’. In English it is called ‘breadnut’. I had to go through great ordeal just to get this fruit name in English. I searched each and every species of artocarpus (which I obtained by googling ‘breadfruit’) before coming to know the scientific name for breadnut, that is ‘artocarpus camansi’. Only the seeds of tupang are consumed.


Left: Tupang (breadnut) , Right: Durian

  • It looks like ‘durian’, as you can see, but the color is much paler. The thorns are not as sharp and pointy like durian’s.

Left: Tupang (breadnut), Right: Sukun (breadfruit).

  • The comparison is made between tupang and durian because durian is more popular. However, there is another similar fruit that resembles tupang. Notice the similarity of the shape of the leaves and the fruit; it can be easily mistaken for breadfruit (‘sukun’ or artocarpus altilis).

Top: Tupang (breadnut), Bottom: Sukun (breadfruit).

  • Tupang is also called ‘sukun with seeds’ because of their striking similarity, hence the name ‘breadnut’ and ‘breadfruit’. Sukun does not have seeds. It is propagated by root cutting. On the other hand, tupang is bred by its seeds. Sukun also have smoother skin, thus can be distinguished from durian and tupang at first glance.

A tupang tree at my uncle's house.

  • Tupang tree can grow this tall after ten years.

It doesn't smell good, trust me.

  • It becomes soft and mushy when it ripens. The picture shows the inside of a ‘tupang’. It smells like old rubber shoes that have been kept forever in some box.
  • Unlike durian, you don’t have to wait for it to fall down from the tree in order to eat them. You can pick it using a pole if you want after seeing one that is not too young and is big enough. You can wait for it to fall if you want, but its mushiness (it is very mushy if you waited it out for too long, even mushier than the one in picture above) and smell makes the retrieving process a little bit challenging.

Tupang (breadnut seeds) ready after being boiled.

  • Seeds of durian, jackfruit (‘nangka’), ‘cempedak’ can also be boiled and eaten. I never tasted boiled durian seeds and nangka seeds (I never liked jackfruit) but in my opinion, tupang’s seed is superior to boiled cempedak seeds as it does not leave weird aftertaste in your mouth. Cempedak makes your mouth feels like you have been drinking oil. Very oily and uncomfortable.
  • Young cempedak and tupang can be treated like vegetable. It can be made into a dish that is made by sautéing shallot, chilies, and shrimp paste. The young seeds together with the fruit flesh that are still stuck to the seeds are then added, followed by water. Usually, water spinach (‘kangkung’) is cooked this way.
  • The difference between the mentioned fruits.

The comparison of which parts are eaten on these fruits.

Do you know there is a similar fruit to tupang that is called ‘terap’ that has even fouler smell than durian (I like durian but not terap). TunDr. Mahathir once joked about terap when he came to Sarawak long time ago. He said, we also have terap in Peninsula Malaysia but we call them ‘Padang Terap’. He said terap is delicious. One thing about terap is the seeds can also be consumed. It is also eaten like durian, we only eat the flesh covering the seeds. Instead of boiling it, terap seeds are toasted (or stir-fried in a wok without any oil). The smell of the toasted seeds is as unbearable as its flesh.

There you go. Almost everything you need to know about tupang. Useless facts? Well, we’ll never know when your knowledge about tupang will be the difference between life and death to you someday (probably never).

Stay curios. 🙂


These pictures are not mine.

These pictures are not mine. They were taken from the following websites:

Breadfruit. (June 13, 2011). In Wikipedia. Retrieved on June 18, 2011 from

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis). (2010). In Artocarpus Pages. Retrieved on June 18, 2011 from

Durian – The King of Fruit. (2011). In Tropical Fruit. Retrieved on June 18, 2011 from 


5 Comments on “Boiled Seeds: Artocarpus Camansi”

  1. No doubt, great info!

    I love to eat fried sukun, the taste is like keladi goreng. The problem is, this sukun nowadays is very hard to find in the market, specifically in my area. I know that other places, sukun is easily available and usually being sold side-by-side with other ‘kampung’ fruits like banana and jackfruit.

    Regarding buah tupang, this is the first time I heard about it. When I looked at the pics, I thought it is some sort of small durian. Besides boiling it and eat, is it possible to fry this buah tupang, like pisang goreng and sukun goreng?

    Thank you.

    P/S: I will add your blog to my sidebar. 🙂

    • Fitrah says:

      First of all, you are very welcome. 🙂

      Boiling it is definitely the best way to enjoy tupang seeds. I don’t think it’s possible to fry them as the outer shell is very hard to remove if it is still raw.
      By the way, in Sarawak there is another way to enjoy fried sukun, that is to mix them with caramelized ‘gula apong’ (a type of palm sugar from nipah tree, its color is dark brown like gula melaka but only available in thick liquid form). It becomes sticky, much like apple candy and the distinctive nipah tree taste to the sugar that is somewhat bitter (to me) really compliments the saltiness of fried sukun.

      P/S: If you don’t mind I’d like to add your blog to my sidebar too. 🙂

  2. salim says:

    Very good article, i have been looking for these info for a while…hard to find probably because all these years i’ve known it to be called as buah ‘kuloh’. During my younger days, we have a big ‘pulor’ tree just a few meters away from our ‘sukun’ tree. When ripe, the fruits will dropped off on their own and will fall ‘splat’ on to the hard ground…sometimes we can see worms or maggots among the mushy flesh flattened on the floor…anyway, we really loved picking the seeds to be boiled, which in my opinion taste slightly better than boiled chempedak seeds. On the other hand sukun fruit need to be ‘cut’ off when they’re matured. Else, the fruit will be too ‘ripe’ on the tree and later on falls off to the ground and wasted….now at least i learnt a few things…buah pulor, or tupang…Breadnuts…interesting and nostalgic also for me, because the tree’s no longer around for the last 35 years or so…

    • Fitrah says:

      Nostalgic indeed sir 🙂 Breadnut is also a part of my childhood. I never enjoyed the task of retrieving and picking the seeds off the ground though 🙂 (with the maggot and all). We are lucky that my mother planted another breadnut tree after the old one was cut down because of the danger it might fall on our house.

      Thank you very much for your comment sir:)

  3. […] The young cempedak can be cooked like young breadnut too, where it is treated more like a vegetable than fruit. You can read it here. […]

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