11.28.2005

Tip: De-Seed a Pomegranate

Pomegrantes are the new 'haute' of cuisine, especially now that they are in season. You can easily drop $3 bucks on one of those snowman shapped juices and $8 bucks on the nuevo pomegranate molasses.

But can you get out those pretty little seeds without making a mess or loosing half the seeds to the juice on your cutting board gods?

Scaning over some pomegranate salad recipes for a client, I was horrified to learn that Nigella recommended cutting into your pomegranate with a knife, and just remove the seeds that weren't broken!?! That would be like cutting into an orange and then trying to remove the segments, without spilling any juice or wasting any segment?!? I started googling around found that most recommended this (even the site: http://www.pomegranate.org/nomess.html which I thought was a little funny).

Therefore I thought I would make the apparent top secret way to de-seed a pomegranate known.

I learned this trick from a persian chef who has probably been cooking with real pomegranates longer then I have known what a pomegranate even was.

  1. First, using a sharp pairing knife, you want to cut a 'curly cue'. Like you are cutting away the peel and pith from an orange without getting the segments of juice - but all in one long curly cue line. from the top of the pomegranate to the bottom. You are only cutting in about an 1/8th inch, just through the pith, with the intention of not cutting into any seeds. Take your time, this is the most imporant part of the process and will decide if the rest of the process is 'juice free and easy' for you.
  2. Carefully working around the pomegranate, loosen the cut you made, pulling the cut open about a 1/4 inch or so.
  3. Now you can pull the pomegranate apart easily, into sections.
  4. Take a section and hold it in one hand, you can run your thumb along the seeds, bending them back and forward gently to have them 'pop off' the pith.
  5. If you run into a section that is covered with a lining of pith, just peel it away before popping off the seeds from that section.

Other tips:

  • You want to remove all the pith, even the little dots of it that stick to some of the seeds. It tastes like eating orange pith.
  • You don't need to wear gloves - you aren't going to make a mess right? And if you get a little juice on you, just wash your hands off and then return to pomegranate peeling bliss.



1 comment:

tara sparks said...

Thanks for the tip! I've always loved pomegranates and it's that first step of getting the pomegranate open that has always been troublesome. I hate using knives to just slice it open--it's so wasteful and messy. I spent about an hour peeling two pomegranates last night, but now that I've seen this tip, I might have to go buy another one!