I always thought that opening a pomelo was super easy, until I was speaking to my friend and then saw her doing it. You’d think she was sumo wrestling instead of opening a fruit by the sound of her grunts. It seems like the trick my mom has always taught me since I was a child is not so well known after all…

Let’s back things up.  We eat pomelo (沙田柚 in Cantonese), which is a Chinese grapefruit (Mandarin speakers call it 柚子, which is exactly what we would call a grapefruit) during Mid Autumn Festival. If you don’t know what Mid Autumn Festival is, go read the first post in this Mid Autumn Festival Series called  Chinese Mid Autumn Festival and Everything You Need to Know and then come back here. I’ll wait =)

The pomelo compliments the festival because its shape and taste. The Mid Autumn Festival is a festival for the worship and appreciation of the moon and of reunion of the family; the pomelo is indeed large, round and yellow-ish (the Chinese ones are yellowish and the Thai pomelos are greenish) in colour so it is very complementary to the values of Mid Autumn Festival. Moon cakes are also one of the must eats during the festival and they are very heavy in taste and the pomelo is very tart so it is a good juxtaposition to the taste of moon cakes.

So how do you open it?


Of course people will eat the meat of the fruit, but the rind has some uses too.  Some people will marinade the rind to eat (like my granny), OR in my case, I’ll teach you how to make a traditional pomelo lantern in the next post.

Pomelos are very thick skinned and it’s got about 1/2 to 1 inch of skin/fibre before you can get to the meat; therefore, ensure your cuts are deep enough. If you are also planning to make a pomelo lantern with the rind, please do as I did in the video and not cut completely to the bottom because you need the rind to be completely intact.  If you’re just here to eat the pomelo then by all means, make the cuts so it completely encircles the entire pomelo and you can also peel each quarter of the rind off completely. As you will see in the video, I tried to be quite careful and made sure to gingerly take the fruit out because I needed the rind intact and that the bottom was not broken.

So let’s go!

Stay tuned for the next post in the series on how to make a traditional pomelo lantern! Read it here.