How to Prepare Pomelo Fruit

Pomelos
Nacivet/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Pomelos can be purchased at most Asian markets and sometimes in regular supermarkets and grocery store chains, depending on where you live. Pomelos are sweeter and milder than grapefruit, and often juicer, plus very low in calories.

Appearance

Pomelo is considered to be the king of the citrus fruit kingdom for its sheer size. Some varieties are the size of a small basketball, while others appear like an enormous grapefruit. Pomelos also vary in color, from dark green on the outside to a coral-orange color and sometimes even yellow. The skin can be very thick (up to 2 inches), or thinner depending on the hybrid. Some come to a peek on top (where the stem joins the tree), while others are completely round. The inner fruit ranges in color from white to pink.

Nutrition/Calories

Like other citrus fruit, pomelos are high in vitamin C (one cup gives you more than your recommended intake of vitamin C). Pomelos also contain iron, dietary fiber, and protein, yet pomelo is very low in calories: 100 grams of pomelo (0.220 lbs/3.53 ounces) has only 38 calories.

Where Pomelos Are Grown

Pomelos are grown in Thailand (where it is known as "sum-oh") and throughout Southeast Asia, as well as in Mexico (they are known as toronja in Spanish) and California. Along with Thailand and China, California is now one of the biggest producers of this fruit.

Cutting Open the Pomelo

Scored pomelo fruit
D.Schmidt

You'll have better luck cutting a pomelo open rather than peeling it like an orange. To begin, hold the pomelo on its side. With a sharp knife, slice off the stem end to create a flat top on the pomelo.

Now score the pomelo by slicing down through the skin (you may have to cut deeply in order to get through the outer peel, which can be up to two inches thick). Make similar cuts all around the outside of the pomelo, as shown in the photo. Then peel the skin back (like peeling a banana).

Remove the Peel

Peeled pomelo fruit
D.Schmidt

Completely remove the pomelo from its outer peel/shell and discard the thick peel. Now you have a choice: either peel off all the white skin from the whole pomelo (as shown here) OR break it apart first by pressing your thumb into the top and pulling down on the sides. You can now break it into sections and remove the white peel from each section (at this stage it is like preparing an orange; use whichever method you prefer).

Serve or Cook with Your Pomelo

Peeled and separated pomelo fruit
D.Schmidt

Break the pomelo into sections, removing as much of the bitter white peel as possible. Note that the fruit may range in color from white to pink depending on the variety/hybrid you have purchased. Your pomelo is now ready to be eaten fresh or used in your cooking. In Thailand, fresh pomelo is often eaten with just a little salt and chili sprinkled over.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. US Food & Drug Administration. Daily value on the new nutrition and supplement facts labels. Updated May 5, 2020.

  2. US Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Pummelo, raw. Updated April 1, 2019.