Say hello to pomelo, the delicious citrus you might not have had the pleasure of meeting. Large in size, it’s a staple in many Southeast Asian diets and can only be found in the winter months. As a lucky bonus, in some traditions, pomelo are seen as an auspicious food that brings prosperity during the Lunar New Year. They are sweet and tart–imagine if grapefruit and tangerines came together to make one perfect fruit!
You can spot a pomelo (or pummelo, depending on where you live) pretty easily–they’re larger than a grapefruit (about the size of a cantaloupe or mini-watermelon) with a bright green or yellow rind. Beneath the fragrant exterior is a thick layer of pith, the white, soft shell found on citrus, which is removed prior to eating. The fruit itself is usually yellow or light pink, and unlike an orange or tangerine, the membranes between each segment are not typically eaten.
You can enjoy this gorgeous fruit on its own or add it to your favorite salads, dishes, and desserts!
How to Prepare a Pomelo
1. Because of the thickness of the rind and pith, scoring the pomelo is helpful. Using a paring knife, cut through the skin going around the fruit. Then, use your fingers to peel back the rind.
2. Once the rind has been removed, carefully remove any extra pith. The pomelo can then be cut in half or use your hands to gently pull it into segments.
3. Use a paring knife to carefully cut along the top of each piece. Peel back the membrane to reveal the individual section.
1 pomelo, segmented
1/4 cup whole mint leaves
1/2 cup shaved fennel root (roughly half as much as pomelo)
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 teaspoon zest (lime, lemon, or pomelo)
1 teaspoon olive oil
pinch chili flakes (adjust for spice level)
pinch of salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl, mix together lime juice, pomelo zest, salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Add pomelo, mint leaves, and fennel. Toss gently to combine.
Plate and enjoy!