What is a Korean Asian Pear?
A pear by any other name is simply a pear, but a Korean pear … is the regal queen of pears. Pampered from a beautiful blossom into a voluptuous, tender-skinned, blemish-free, sweet, juicy orb of golden crunchiness – no other can hold a candle to its perfection. Behold the Queen of Pears and her ladies in waiting:
Unlike Western pears, Korea’s Asian Pears are bred to have extremely thin skin and are wrapped while still on the tree to protect their delicate skin and the white tender flesh within. They are the ones you see swathed in a soft cloak of white when displayed among the commoners in the marketplace. A case of these uncommonly good pears that regale your palate with the delightful crunchiness of apples and the sweet tenderness of pears arrived at my humble abode courtesy of Melissa’s Produce.
What to Make with Korean Asian Pears
We have been devouring the Korean Asian Pears simply out-of-hand—we are but mere peasants, after all. But also savoring them for breakfast, like Elvis, on toast with peanut butter, and making all manner of salsas, chutneys, sauces, vinaigrettes, and salads. The chutney I made is perfect for a holiday or hostess gift from the kitchen and you’re sure to appreciate the refreshing, crispness that Korean Asian pears add to green salads.
Korean Pears have a variety of uses in cooking: sliced, diced or shredded over salads, baked, or stuffed for desserts and make a flavorful alternative to any recipe traditionally made with conventional Asian Pears. Besides their crispy, sweetness and tender skin, they do not turn brown! You can literally reserve half of the pear to eat later or for another use and the flesh will still be white and fresh looking, even after a few hours or the next day. Also, while they taste like a cross between an apple and a pear, they are not a hybrid – Asian pears are native to China, Japan, and Korea. Should you cast your eyes upon these lovely ladies, gently escort them to an awaiting carriage and make haste to your stately castle before someone else captures them.
Asian Pear Salad with Cranberries and Pecans Recipe
- For the Salad:
- 1 - 4.5 ounce Organic Girl Vive la France! salad mix*
- 1/2 Korean pear sliced thin
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup halved pecans toasted
- For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon oil*
- 1-1/2 tablespoon Chaparral Gardnes Winter Ambrosia vinegar*
- 4 grinds freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
- Whisk oil vinegar, and pepper together in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Add the blue cheese and whisk to incorporate.
Arrange the greens on plates. To serve two, you'll use about half the greens. Top with cranberries and pecans and arrange the Korean pear slices around the plate.
Recipe is easily doubled or tripled.
More Ideas and Recipes for Korean Asian Pears
One of my favorite ways to use fruit is as a sweet component in a savory dish, and Korean pears combined with dried cherries in a quick sauce pairs well with pork or chicken for a quick weeknight dinner. There is nothing like a warm, satisfying meal of Pan-fried Pork Tenderloin with Brown Butter Korean Pears & Cherries and Roasted Spaghetti Squash to ward off the chill of a brisk autumn day. Reminiscent of Weiner Schnitzel, this dish highlights Fall produce —Spaghetti squash sautéed with shallots and celery as well as Korean pears browned in butter with dried cherries and a dash of apple cider. Grab an ale and cozy up to the fire with your honey.
For more delicious ideas and recipes for Korean Pears:
Korean pear coleslaw, Gangnam style from The Jolly Tomato
10 things to do with Korean pears from Shockingly Delicious
Honey-glazed Korean pears baked in wonton crisps with honey-cinnamon mascarpone from Cooking on the Weekends
Disclosure: I received a case of pears from Melissa’s Produce and organic salad greens from Organic Girl; the cooking, recipes, and opinions are my own.