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Braised Pomelo Pith Recipe?


WYF
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I had braised pomelo pith once in a restaurant during Chinese New Year. My grandparents hadn't had the dish in decades and loved it so much that we ordered a second serving of it. It was soft and fragrant, and had soaked up the flavour of the broth as well.

Does anyone have know how to make this dish? From what I understand the process is a bit complicated. The only information I've gotten so far is that the peel needs to be dried out a little bit, then soaked for 3-4 days before it is braised. One of my main questions is how is the peel removed since only the white pith gets consumed? And what ingredients go into the broth?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. If I can learn how to make this by Christmas it would make a perfect gift for my grandfather.

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My grandparents used to love to make this. This and watermelon rind.

From what I remember that they chosed pomelos w/ thick piths. Then they just peeled the peel from it, using a knife or a peeler. I also think they soak it in salted water before braising.

I'll call granny to see if she remembers anything else. Oh and I remember that they cooked this w/ pork. Hopefully someone else has better insight.

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There is a similar pomelo rind dish that I love. It's  pomelo rind preserved in soy sauce. We slice the rind, mix with fatty pork and steam.  :wub:

OH YES! :wub:

They should be the large pear-shaped Chinese pomelo because the rind is thicker. They should be available soon with Chinese new Year coming up.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I think the one we ate had a seafood based broth...dried scallop or dried shrimp roe. I'm not sure if we bought thick skinned pomelos, but I have one drying a bit so I might as well do something with it :smile:

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The only information I could decipher from searching on the net is that I need to soak it for 3-4 days, changing the water twice daily. I'm not sure if I needed to peel the skin (i.e. zest) leaving just the white pith before soaking. I've got it soaking in water so we'll see how this goes!

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My parents used to enjoy making this when in season. I think my mom would char the rind side over a flame until black, like with red peppers, then scrape the char off and maybe soak for a while. Don't remember all the steps but they would steam the dish, maybe over a pork patty.

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You want to eat the pith so the easiest way to completely remove the skin is to char it over a fire. When the skin has turned to coal, remove from the fire and throw it into a basin of water and rub off the burned skin. Now soak the pith for a week in water, changing the water daily and squeezing the water out from the skins daily. After a week, you're have very clean and white pith to season as you like.

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What does pomelo pith taste like? It's been a while since I've had pomelo but I seem to recall that anything other than the pulp of the pomelo tasted bitter. Sometimes even the pulp was slightly bitter.

Is the purpose of soaking to temper the bitterness?

I can't help wondering if eating the pith started at a time when there was little else to eat.

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A pomelo shouldn't really be bitter, it should be sweet. I believe that the soaking helps to draw out the bitterness from the pith, much like blanching orange peel before making candied orange peel.

As for the taste of the pomelo pith? It's got this light citrus, floral fragrance reminiscent of the pomelo. When I ate it, it was braised in some kind of seafood based broth and the pomelo pith had soaked up all it's delicious flavour.

Just an update on my little pomelo adventure, I ended up peeling the skin away and am on day two of the soaking. Two more days to go!

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What does pomelo pith taste like?  It's been a while since I've had pomelo but I seem to recall that anything other than the pulp of the pomelo tasted bitter.  Sometimes even the pulp was slightly bitter.

Is the purpose of soaking to temper the bitterness?

I can't help wondering if eating the pith started at a time when there was little else to eat.

The pit tastes fragrant and citrusy. It also absorbs the flavoring of the seasonings.

Yep, all the soaking removes the bitter taste. Don't know about the history but it probably started with someone frugal trying to find a use for the pith which would otherwise be thrown away. It's also pretty tasty.

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So I tried to cook the pomelo pith today. I simmered it in a shrimp stock with dried scallops and shrimp. I'm not sure if I'm doing it right because after a couple of hours of simmering, the pith still isn't soft (like wintermelon). It's still got some spongy texture and it's a bit stringy? Have I not been cooking it long enough? Should I be cooking it another way?

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So I tried to cook the pomelo pith today.  I simmered it in a shrimp stock with dried scallops and shrimp.  I'm not sure if I'm doing it right because after a couple of hours of simmering, the pith still isn't soft (like wintermelon).  It's still got some spongy texture and it's a bit stringy?  Have I not been cooking it long enough?  Should I be cooking it another way?

I think you probably need to soak it longer. If you soak it long enough, the pith becomes really soft and cooking time is minimal. But it still doesn't become as mushy as wintermelon.

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I soaked it for about 6 days, changing the water daily. Was that not enough time? Would steaming it have been better? It's probably been about a decade since I've eaten this dish, and it was the only time I've ever had it so I may be remembering the texture incorrectly. However, I do recall it being softer than what it is right now. There's a bit of stringiness that I don't remember from the time that I ate it.

Thanks for all your help so far everyone, especially Seitch :smile:

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The most common pomelos here in North America wouldn't work quite right. They're far too sour and bitter and the skins are pretty thin, not much rind to work with. Everyday Chinese pomelos are full of thick, fluffy rind that tends not to be overwhelmingly bitter.

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I don't think I've ever bought a North American pomelo before. I see them in the grocery store and they look like really big green grapefruits with a pinkish flesh. We get the chinese pomelos. We couldn't always find them unless they were in season so when I was growing up they were a treat when we could get them in Ottawa. However, a couple of years back I just remember eating one or two a week for a good year. I think they were importing them from China and Thailand. There was this one that had a cellophane wrapper that was just fantastic, big juicy flesh with almost no seeds.

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Just throwing something out, when you changed the water, did you squeeze the water out of the pith as well?

If not, maybe the bitterness had still stayed in there? And it didn't soak up new water when you changed it b/c the pith was already full? Not sure, but if this works like a brine, then what I said won't matter.

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Yup, I squeezed out the water in the pith every time I changed the water.  The flavour of the pith seems to be fine, it's more the texture that seems to be the issue.

All the pomelo pith I've eaten here has a spongy texture (although not stringy). What kind of texture are you looking for?

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I soaked it for about 6 days, changing the water daily.  Was that not enough time?  Would steaming it have been better? It's probably been about a decade since I've eaten this dish, and it was the only time I've ever had it so I may be remembering the texture incorrectly.  However, I do recall it being softer than what it is right now.  There's a bit of stringiness that I don't remember from the time that I ate it.

Thanks for all your help so far everyone, especially Seitch  :smile:

Hmmm...did you remove any and all visible strings before charring and then again during soaking? I checked with my mom who makes this all the time and she said that she soaks for about 4-5 days. The main point of the soaking is to squeeze out any remaining yellow water and replace with clean water daily.

You're very welcome! :) Sorry it's not quite working out as expected though....

Edited by Seitch (log)
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for the life of me, I couldn't find a good representative photo of the pomelo that WYF is using. It is very round...almost squashed down at the top, and skin is very thin compared to a lot of grapefruits and other types of pomelo. I see them all the time at the grocery store, especially now.

I notice that photos of pomelos on google image all have "nipples" that stick way out, making their shape far different than the ones I am used to seeing here in the NE US

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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