View Full Version : sectioning citrus

01-03-13, 10:34 PM
does anyone know how to accomplish this task? is there a tool/equipment one purchases to do it? i have mandarins and navel oranges.

I want to make salads with citrus fruits from our CSA box and my partner isn't keen on having the white/translucent ish skin parts around the orange/mandarin sections. he's been a champ making me food for months now and I want to make him stuff so telling him to just deal with it isn't my angle here as he always has. I want to learn the trick to it.

I know it's possible somehow but when j tried goigling it the first thing was "get a very sharp knife"... and then proceeded to have sticky juice hands fingers doing whet appreaesd to me to be quite fine-motor-skilled work requiring a level if dexterity I'm sure I lack. that's less than ideal for me. anyone know, is there a method where on less likely to impale/slice open self?

I just realized sineone might see that title and think I'm inquiring pm the involuntary commission of citrus fruits. hahaha!!! well, not that.

cheers in advance if anyone knows.

01-04-13, 12:14 AM
Peri, have no fear! I am here to rescue you... :)

First, cut off the top and bottom of the fruit. By this I mean the stem and naval (navel?) ends.

You need to be able to work with an object that has a flat surface.

Ok, now set the citrus fruit on one of the cut ends, take a sharp knife (sharp really is a key thing) and slice in a curve running from the top to the bottom. You want to cut out the pith, but not much more. When you've cut one part, do the adjacent part, etc. You do that all around the sides of the fruit. What you end up with should be like a weather balloon, with lines running from top to bottom, but no skin.

Ok, now, cradle the little ball of citrus in your receiving hand, and gently cut on one side and another of each of the lines, but only about halfway through. So just to the left, then just to the right of the natural casing of the fruit's sections. Do that for every naturally occurring section. As you do it, the "fillings" will drop into a bowl under your hands. And you'll produce a ton of juice. That's ok. When you're creating citrus sections in this way, some waste is to be expected.

When you're done, you'll have a little spent "carcass" of a citrus fruit, with some pulp on either side of all of the pithy parts. Squeeze it to drain it of any remaining usable juice, and then toss it. Or eat it, which is what I tend to do. :o In any event, it's not what you're after for cooking, even if it's edible.

That's how you section citrus. :D

A very sharp filet knife is especially good for cutting the sides off and not leaving a lot of pulp behind. I use them for this, and for doing the same move (basically) with watermelons, cantaloupes, pineapples, etc.

This is how professional chefs prep these fruits all the time.

01-04-13, 12:16 AM
**** yes! I saw you seeing my thread abs knee you would be!! must take off but going to read and try tips tomorrow. will report back. :-) x

01-04-13, 12:18 AM
Happy to oblige, girl!!! :)

01-04-13, 12:18 AM
I slice it in quarters and pull the fruit from the peeling.

Granted, this doesn't occur often. lol

It ain't pretty, but it still tastes good, and there's no thick membranes involved. lol

01-04-13, 12:20 AM

That's gonna save me a whole lotta damn time, Sandy!! lol

Thank you!!!

01-04-13, 12:33 AM
Glad to help, guys.

It's just a chef's trick. Nothing terribly fancy. :) But once you do it with, say, a cantaloupe, you'll never section it without peeling first again.

01-04-13, 01:04 AM
Ya know Sandy ....I was never required to deal with fruit when I was a cook, but I ended up doing just pretty much the same thing with those cute little personal watermelons...

slice off all the rind, then slice slabs horizontally, then the criss cross cuts to make chunks ....

I find I eat more of something like fruit if I prepare a bunch of it beforehand .....and then it's just in the fridge and ready to eat .....

mrs. dobbs
01-04-13, 04:36 AM
I saw the thread title and wondered what that poor 5150'ed citrus had done!

01-06-13, 08:46 PM
ok, so, it TOTALLY WORKED with the naval oranges :-)

when you noted it being akin to sectioning pineapples and melons, that made sense. i've done the same steps with those fruits, but for some reason it didn't occur to me to do it with oranges because they're "peelable", if you know what i mean. i was starting with the fruit hand peeled and just making a mess.

the thing i still had difficulty with was the mandarins. i think not just because they're small, but their peel is looser around the fruit and so cutting the peel off just didn't get through that first ....what is that called? the membrane? anyway, so i tried to pop those out by hand by peeling the membranes off, which worked ok.

i also tried it with grapefruit to much success.

spanks a million, sandy! xxx

01-09-13, 07:48 PM
You got it, babe! :) That's what we're here for! :)

01-09-13, 08:37 PM
Sounds like Sandy's already found you a solution, but another option is a tool called a "citrus peeler". It looks like this (and it's actually a little smaller than shown):
That part at the top right is a little sharp wedge. You hook it into the skin and slide it in an arc and it cuts the peel without mangling the fruit. Then you can pull apart the segments by sticking a finger in the center of the fruit at the top or bottom, or use the blunt end of the peeler. The pith (white stuff) comes off pretty easily.