How to Prepare a Pomelo
After living in Asia for so many years, there are loads of fruits and vegetables that I have tried which are really uncommon in the USA. When I lived in Shanghai I made a little “rule” for myself that I had to buy one unfamiliar item a week and figure out how to prepare it. Enter the glorious Pomelo. The fruit was available pre-sectioned in many of the grocery stores, but I love a challenge. The trees grew in my neighborhood and come Pomelo season, there would be no sweet grocery store employee to hook me up with perfect pieces.
Ok, so what is a Pomelo anyway?
Pomelos are citrus fruits that are native to South East Asia and commonly grown in the South Asia region. There are two main varieties, those with white flesh and those with pink. Pomelos are larger than grapefruits and similar in taste, but milder and less acidic. They have thick skins with very thick pith when compared to other citrus fruits. They are generally available from winter through spring. In the US you can find Pomelos grown in California or imported from overseas. To pick a good Pomelo, look for one that feels heavy for its size and is firm.
I bought one. Now what?
Let’s dig right in.
Step 1: Score the bottom of the Pomelo with a large X, going right through the pith and stopping at the fleshy fruit.
Step 2: Slide your finger between the outer skin and pith and the fruit and tear the skin away.
(My Pommelo had rather thin pith as Pommelos go, if you were wondering)
Step 3: Place your fingers in the center of the pomelo and use some force to pull the fruit open in half.
Step 4: Remove sections of the Pomelo and peel the inner membrane from each secion.
This step is fairly time consuming. Some of the sections might be harder to peel than others and you might end up with some broken pieces, which is nothing to worry about, especially if you are using the pieces in a salad.
And there you have it, a sectioned Pomelo!
What can I do with my Pomelo Pieces?
I will be posting a recipe later this week for a delicious Pomelo Sorbet, so get ready for a sweet treat! Till then, some ideas:
Pomelo is great in a regular fruit salad with berries, apples, pineapple and other citrus fruits. In South East Asia, it is often eaten in simple sections sprinkled with a little salt and chile powder. There is also a fantastic traditional Thai Salad which features shrimp and a little coconut. Yum!
I hope that you enjoyed the tutorial and that you will try a Pomelo soon! Have you ever tried it? Leave a comment- I’d love to hear how you like to eat your Pomelo.