Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Asian Pears

Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note


apple pears

What is it?

Asian pears originated in East Asia but are grown throughout the world today. The most common type in the United States is the Twentieth Century (or Nijisseiki). It’s round and fat, with a slightly flat top and greenish skin that yellows as it ripens.

With the crunch and shape of an apple, the grainy texture of a common pear, and the juicy notes of a pineapple, the lightly sweet Asian pear is a welcome addition to market bins from July to early fall. A relative of European pear varieties like Bartlett and Anjou, the Asian pear is great used in recipes or simply eaten out of hand. It retains a crispness that works well in slaws and salads, and it holds its shape better than European pears when baked and cooked. The next time you’re out, pick some up—they might well be your new late-summer love.

How to choose:

Asian pears are harvested at the peak of ripeness. They bruise easily, so they’re usually sold in protective netting. Look for firm fruit (unlike their European counterparts, Asian pears don’t soften when ripe), with few marks and a subtle floral aroma. Avoid pears that are shriveled or feel soft to the touch—they shouldn’t yield to slight pressure.

How to prep:

Asian pears have tender skin, so you don’t need to peel them. Try them raw: Dice and add them to chicken salad; slice thinly and toss them with mixed lettuces, nuts, and vinaigrette; or julienne and add them to a slaw. They pair wonderfully with pungent cheeses like blue, Gouda, or Cabrales—simply slice the pears and serve with the cheese of your choice.

Although Asian pears have firm flesh, they’re also extremely juicy and when cooked tend to give off more liquid than apples or pears do. Their mild flavor goes well with a variety of ingredients from the global pantry; pair them with ginger, star anise, soy sauce, five-spice powder, or even curry powder. We especially love them sautéed and served with pork, puréed in velvety soups, or for a special treat, infused with spices and honey as a warm, heady pancake and waffle topping. If you’re lucky enough to score a great deal on Asian pears at the farmers’ market, try this: Core the pears and slice them into eighths; then poach, can, and enjoy them for months to come.

How to store:

They have a remarkable shelf life, lasting for up to four months in the refrigerator crisper drawer. At room temperature, they’ll sit happily in a fruit bowl for two weeks without losing their crunch.


  • Recipe

    Korean-Style Grilled Marinated Short Ribs

    Grilled marinated short ribs (kalbi) are one of the most popular dishes at a Korean barbecue. Asian pears  are a common addition to this style of marinade; they add a…

  • Recipe

    Korean Barbecued Beef Short Ribs (Kalbi)

    Grilled short ribs are one of the most popular dishes in a Korean barbecue. Their marinade, redolent of garlic, soy, sugar, and sesame, infuses the meat with incredible flavor. The…

  • Recipe

    Pecan, Radicchio, and Asian Pear Salad

    Crisp, juicy Asian pears play off the crunchy buttered and toasted pecans and tender bitter greens in this colorful salad. Roasted walnut oil adds a welcome richness.

  • Recipe

    Grilled Korean Skirt Steak

    This recipe is a riff on kalbi, Korean pear-and-soy-marinated short ribs. It’s delicious wrapped in lettuce leaves with rice and a drizzle of the marinade.    

  • Recipe

    Sesame Steak Salad with Asian Pears

    This fresh salad is a riff on bulgogi (Korean beef BBQ), in which Asian pears contribute a sweet note to the marinade. To get a nice, crunchy sear on the beef, make…

  • Recipe

    Asian Pear & Cabrales Salad with Fig & Port Dressing

    Instead of ending a meal with a plate of fruit and cheese, serve this elegant winter salad made with crunchy, juicy Asian pears and Cabrales, a sheep-and-cow's milk blue cheese from…


Leave a Comment


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.