Have you ever had pomelo? It is a tropical fruit from the citrus fruit family and looks very similar to grapefruit, just slightly larger. In this post, I will share how to cut a pomelo and enjoy it after peeling it.
Check out my Thai Pomelo Fruit Salad, an easy citrus salad perfect for winter. The salad is light and refreshing with creamy, savory-sweet taste flavors. It is one of the best fruit salads ever!
There were a few pomelo trees in the village where I grew up. They were harder to grow in my region due to the arid temperature, but it was always a treat to enjoy when there was some. Picking, peeling, and eating fresh pomelo were some of my fun childhood memories.
What is a pomelo?
Pomelo is a tasty fruit grown popular all over South East Asia. This large citrus fruit has thick light green or yellow-fish skin with a fibrous white pith. The inner flesh of the fruit looks like large salmon roes with a sweet-tart juicy flavor that pops in your mouth.
Not only is pomelo a delicious fruit, but it is full of health benefits and nutrients. They are one of my favorite fruits.
There are many pomelo varieties as well. Some have white flesh, while others have light salmon-colored ones.
How to cut a pomelo?
Pomelo has a very thick rind and can be tough to peel. Here are the easy steps to cut the pomelo. (See pictures below for step by step process of cutting a pomelo!)
Step 1. On a cutting board, use a sharp knife to slice off the top part of the pomelo (the stem end of the pomelo.)
Step 2. Next, peel the rind off. Firmly hold the top of the pomelo with one hand, start where you have shaved off the top, and slice the knife through the outer peel. Slice it from the top to the bottom of the fruit. Leave 1-2 inches of spacing in between the pattern. Careful not to puncture through the flesh.
Step 3. Use your fingers to pull off the rind piece by piece. Also, the pith of the pomelo (the fibrous-like white part) can be thick, so use your fingers to peel it off in large pieces.
Step 4. Use your hands to break the fruit in half firmly. Using a knife cuts into flesh too much, and you'll lose some of the pomelo juice, the tastiest part of the fruit.
Step 5. Break the fruit into small pieces for easy peeling. Removing the flesh is easier if you peel the pith off in large pieces.
Step 6. Gently your fingers to remove the flesh of the pomelo into a bowl. Do your best to have large pieces intact. Taste it to see how delicious fresh pomelo is! They are so refreshing! Discard the pith and all the pomelo peel. That's it!
Enjoy only the meaty flesh and enjoy the full fresh flavor of this exotic fruit! Serve fresh, or use the peeled pomelo in a fresh salad. Try this Thai Pomelo Fruit Salad
Tips and fun ideas for Pomelo
- Grate the zest of the rind of the pomelo for baking and cooking. They are great for tarts and pies. Place the zest in ice cubes, and once frozen, store them in airtight containers for later use.
- Ripe pomelos should be slightly tender to the touch but not overly soft. You can keep the ones still hard at room temperature for a few days before using them in cooking.
- Do your best to remove all of the pith of a pomelo. They have a bitter taste that is not pleasant to bite into.
- When cutting the pomelo, keep the bottom intact to make a "Pomelo crown" or hat for young kiddos. It's always a fun little project that brings giggles and smiles every time.
- Store any leftover pomelo in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
What are the benefits of pomelo?
Pomelo not only tastes great, but it’s also full of healthy benefits. Like all citrus fruit, pomelo has a high level of Vitamin C, which helps boosts the immune system to fight off sicknesses. Additionally, pomelos are rich in antioxidants, aid digestion, reduce cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure and help with inflammation with their antibacterial properties.
Is a pomelo the same as a grapefruit?
Pomelo vs grapefruits, how are they different? Pomelo and grapefruit are from the same citrus family, but the size, color, taste, and texture differ. They are more like distant cousins.
Pomelo has pinkish/salmon-colored flesh. Some have white or light yellow flesh, depending on the breed of the fruit. The outer and inner peel is much thicker than the grapefruit. The fruit's edible flesh is also larger, making pomelo easier to eat by hand than grapefruit.
Pomelo is the largest fruit in the citrus fruit family. They are about the size of a cantaloupe, sometimes bigger. A small whole pomelo is usually 1-2 pounds in size, while large ones can weigh anywhere from 2-4 pounds.
What does pomelo taste like?
Pomelo also has a sweeter taste and slightly less acidic flavor than grapefruit. A good pomelo has a mixed taste of sweet orange, tangerine and grapefruit combined. Pomelo is very common in several Southeast Asian countries because they love the hot and humid temperatures to grow in.
Where to buy pomelo?
Check your local grocery stores in the produce section near the oranges. They are most likely the largest citrus fruit on the shelf, and look for the greenish/yellow fruit that looks like grapefruits. I found my pomelos at Traders Joe's and my local Asian markets.
Be sure to check out my refreshing and healthy recipes you will love!
- Thai Pomelo Fruit Salad
- Easy Thai Beef Salad Recipe
- Thai Glass Noodle Recipe Yum Woon Sen
- Thai Green Papaya Salad
- Lao green papaya salad recipe
- Thai green Mango salad with cashew
- Spicy Lao cucumber salad tum tang