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How to Hull or Core Strawberries
Hulling or coring strawberries—removing the green stem or calyx from the top of the berry—makes them more elegant and easier to eat when served plain. It's also the first step in any recipe that uses strawberries, be it salsa or dessert.
No matter how you're eating them, you want to start with fresh, ripe berries. Try to taste berries before you buy them since strawberries can look gorgeous, red, and shiny but taste like so much fluff. If you can't taste the berries, smell them. They... should smell—you guessed it!—like strawberries.
Give them a good rinse just before you're going to use them and pat them thoroughly (but gently!) dry. See How to Wash Strawberries for more details. Now you're ready to hull.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Insert a Sharp Knife Next to the Stem Cap
Hold a strawberry in your left hand and a sharp paring knife in your right hand (reverse if you're left-handed). Insert the tip of the knife into the strawberry next to the stem cap. Angle the knife tip towards the center core of the berry.
For the most control, hold the knife on the blade just below the handle.Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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Turn the Strawberry
Turn the strawberry to guide the knife around the stem-cap, keeping the knife tip angled towards the center core of the strawberry. This will cut out, rather than off, the stem and its fibrousness.
This part is important so it bears repeating: Turn the strawberry, not the knife. It's the same motion as peeling apples with a paring knife or running a spatula around the edge of a cake pan. Pros know to hold the utensil still and move the object; you create the angle you want and then use that... angle.
The stem - cut into a cone shape tapering into the strawberry thus removing the stem and the tough bits just below it without sacrificing too much fruit - should pop right off/out. Repeat with any remaining berries.Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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Served hulled strawberries as they are, with cream or balsamic vinegar or powdered sugar. Try a real treat by dipping them in sour cream or crème fraîche and then in brown sugar - yum!
Hulled strawberries really shine, however, when used in baked goods and salads. You save a maximum of the delicious fruit, while getting rid of the inedible stem and the tough part directly below it. A few of my favorite ways to serve up strawberries include:
- Add hulled and sliced strawberries to a simple arugula... salad—throw in some orange segments for even more color and sweetness
- Fold mashed strawberries into sweetened whipped cream to make strawberry fool
- Combine hulled, sliced strawberries with chopped chiles, add salt and pepper to taste, a bit of lime juice, and you have a fresh strawberry salsa
- Strawberry Ricotta Muffins
- Strawberry Almond Smoothie
- Mash strawberries in sparkling water, add sugar to taste, and enjoy a homemade strawberry soda
Learn more About Strawberries here.