Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)

Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)Nashi Pearls – Luscious, Light & Lovely

What a challenge I gave myself. Coming up with a dessert for this Saturday’s Flavors of Japan cooking class wasn’t easy. Classic Japanese meals usually end on a savory rather than sweet note. Although sweets are loved in Japan, they’re more likely to be served with tea in the afternoon. Occasionally an offering of fresh, seasonal fruit concludes a meal. Fresh fruit was on Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)my mind that fateful day I received an email from Vegetarian Times featuring “Nashi Pearls.”

I loved the concept and began playing with the recipe. A number of iterations later, luscious, light and lovely Nashi Pearls and Mandarins came into being. Rich, tender Matcha Almond Shortbread will provide a crisp counterpoint to the Nashi Pearls in Saturday’s class.

Nashi or Asian pears
The Japanese word “Nashi” (pronounced nah-shee) simply means pear. In Japan Nashi more specifically refers to the fruit of an Asian tree, Pyrus pyrifolia, of the rose family. Native to China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan, Nashi pears resemble apples in shape. But, when cut open they have almost transparent flesh with a mildly sweet, juicy and crisp pear-like texture.

Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)Known by a number of different names, such as Asian pears, Sand pears, Japanese Apple Pears, they are called Nashi in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. In Japan, large and relatively expensive Nashi are given as gifts, served to guests or saved for special family celebrations. With their high water content, mildly sweet Nashi are rarely baked. More often they are enjoyed fresh as hors d’oeuvres or in salads.

Choose fragrant and unbruised pears. Nashi pears are ready to eat when purchased as they do not soften like the pears we know in the West. You can store them for up to two months in the refrigerator or about a week unrefrigerated.

Nashi pearls how to

  • Peel the pear and leave whole.Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)
  • With the smaller end of a melon baller work around the pear forming as many pearls as you can.
  • Add the pearls to the bowl with the Mandarin oranges and lime juice.

Mandarin oranges
Did you know that a tangerine is a Mandarin orange, however not all Mandarin oranges are tangerines? Rather confusing. And the more you read the more confusing it gets.

Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)So, just remember when you go shopping that all tangerine varieties from the tiniest Pixies to the larger Satsumas are considered Mandarins. For Nashi Pearls and Mandarins choose the sweetest tangerines you can find for the most luscious tasting dessert.

BTW, peak tangerine season lasts from autumn to spring.

Citrus supremes
Take a few extra minutes to cut the Mandarins into supremes. These individual segments free of skin, pith, membranes and seeds shine like pearls themselves.

  • Begin by cutting off the skin and pith at both ends to expose the fruit.
  • Next, use a serrated knife with a sawing motion to remove the skin and all the pithNashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines) from each Mandarin. To minimize waste, closely follow the contour of each fruit with the knife.
  • Squeeze the skin over the bowl with the lime juice mixture to release any remaining juice.
  • With a sharp paring knife, cut along each side of the membrane between each segment. As you free the segments add them to the bowl with the juice.
  • Squeeze the remaining membrane to release its juice into the bowl.

Valentine roses

A last hurrah for these beautiful roses that graced our home and nourished us heart and soul these past two weeks. Thank you ♥♥♥

Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)Nashi Pearls and Mandarins
With Candied Ginger and Fresh Mint

Asian pears are called Nashi in Japan. Use a melon baller to make a string of “Nashi pearls.” Nashi Pearls and Mandarins become extra luscious and flavorful after macerating in the Mandarin orange and lime juice for a couple of hours to overnight before serving.
Thank you, Vegetarian Times, for inspiring this recipe.

Makes 4-6 servings                                                       Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes plus time for macerating the fruit

5 medium Mandarin oranges (tangerines)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1-2 teaspoons light, local honey, depending on the sweetness of the fruit
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 medium Nashi pears (Asian pears)
2 tablespoons finely diced candied ginger
1 ½ teaspoons very thinly sliced fresh mint chiffonade
4-6 fresh mint sprigs for garnish

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the fresh lime juice, honey and vanilla.
  2. Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)Supreme the Mandarins: Begin by cutting off the skin and pith at both ends to expose the fruit.
    1. Next, use a serrated knife with a sawing motion to remove the skin and all the pith from each Mandarin. To minimize waste, follow the contour of each fruit with the knife.
    2. Squeeze the skin over the bowl with the lime juice mixture to release any remaining juice.
    3. With a sharp paring knife, cut along each side of the membrane between each segment. As you free the segments add them to the bowl with the juiceNashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines).
  3. Peel the Asian pears. Working with a whole pear, use the small end of a melon baller to make Nashi pearls. Add to the bowl and gently toss together with the  supremes.
  4. Cover the bowl. Macerate the fruit for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, before serving.Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)
  5. Stir in the finely diced ginger and very thinly sliced fresh mint.
  6. Spoon the Nashi Pearls and Mandarins into individual glasses or dishes. Garnish each serving with a sprig of fresh mint.

Printer-Friendly Recipe.

 

2 thoughts on “Nashi Pearls & Mandarins (Asian Pears & Tangerines)

  1. Janice,
    Looks lovely and inviting and delicious!
    Your creativity and knowledge are a winning combination.
    Your cooking class members are sooo fortunate.

    I’m so fortunate to have you as my sister!
    Love,
    /s

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