Energetics of Asian Pears: Everyone’s New Favorite Fruit

Asian pears have many names, usually based on the region of harvest, but globally they are commonly called the nashi pear.  Nashi, , literally means “pear” in Japanese!  Many people in Asian counties use these pears as gifts or serve it to guests.  During the Edo Period in Japan they were thought to ward off evil and misfortune and were planted near gates and corners of properties.  In South Korea they even have a museum dedicated to the Asian pear called The Naju Pear Museum!

 Varieties

Asian pears are native to China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea.  They are now cultivated in many East Asian countries, Australia, Greece, and in parts of California and Washington. The most commonly grown in the US is the Japanese variety, and are a round shape like an apple.  The less commonly grown Asian pear is the Chinese variety and it is by far the best tasting of all the Asian pears!  The Chinese pear is shaped more like a traditional pear, but has a creamy white colored flesh and is VERY juicy! It can sometimes be found in Asian Markets in the US.  Asian pears are classified in two groups. Most belonging to the Akanashi (‘Russet pears’) group, and have yellowish-brown rinds.  While the others belong to the Aonashi (‘Green pears’) group, and have yellow-green rinds.

 How to Choose and Store

photo credit: Japanese pear via photopin (license)

photo credit: Japanese pear via photopin (license)

When picking your Asian pears look for ones that are very fragrant and unbruised, with little to no brown spots.  Always be careful when handling, as Asian pears are very fragile and can bruise easily! Unlike traditional pears, Asian pears are actually hard and do not soften because they are harvested ripe.  Therefore they should be fairly firm when gently squeezed.

Since they are harvested ripe, they have a longer shelf life than other pears.  They will stay fresh for about 1 week at room temperature or up to 3 months stored in the fridge!

 Nutrition

asian-pear-nutritionAsian pears are a good source of essential vitamins, particularly vitamins C and vitamin K.  Vitamin C has two main functions in the body; it helps make collagen, a protein that keeps your bones from being too brittle, and has antioxidant functions to keep your tissues healthy. Vitamin K also has two main functions; it ensures that you can form blood clots and it allows your body to make proteins needed for bone mineralization.   Asian pears are also a good source of the minerals copper and manganese. Both minerals help support body functions by helping your cells produce energy, and they also help with tissue health by playing a role in collagen synthesis and maturation. Manganese also keeps your bones healthy, while copper nourishes the brain.

 Energetics

In Chinese medicine Asian pears are considered a cooling fruit and are used for detoxification purposes and to treat coughs, laryngitis, ulcers and constipation. They are also used to promote a healthy complexion, eliminate under eye circles and relieve retina pain.

Hot and Sour Chicken Nashi Stir-fry

HandSChickenNashiSFryIngredients:

1 – 2cm stalk lemongrass (white part), finely sliced

1 – 2cm piece ginger, peeled and diced

juice of 1 large lime

1 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp palm or brown sugar

1 large green chilli (optional)

2 large (450g) chicken breast fillets

2 large Nashi

 

 

Directions:

Combine the lemongrass, ginger, lime, fish sauce, sugar and chilli into a medium bowl. Mix well. Slice chicken into strips and toss in marinade. Slice Nashi into thin wedged strips.

Drain chicken, reserving marinade. Heat a large non-stick pan or wok and fry chicken until golden. Add Nashi and continue cooking 2 minutes. Pour over marinade, toss well until hot, then serve.

Tip: the marinade can be made in advance, and the chicken marinated overnight

 

 

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

Source

  • zeeCatsicles

    Wow this recipe looks delicious! Saving this! :)