How to Prepare Pomelo Fruit

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.

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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.

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

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

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

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.