Asian pear is a sweet pear fruit that you can add to many recipes. It is popular in many Korean dishes as its flavor and textures elevate it. Nonetheless, this fruit is also very expensive.
The fact that this pear is popular in Korea does not make it available everywhere, but not to worry as there are many good Asian pear substitutes that you can use as well.
Some of the best replacements for Asian pear include Anjou pear, bosc pear, forelle pear, taylor’s gold pear, and bartlett pear. Apart from pears, fruits like kiwi, pineapples, fuji apple, and oranges can also fit perfectly into many dishes as alternatives.
Let’s quickly look at these substitutes in detail!
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What is Asian Pear?
Asian pear is a species of sweet pear derived from the Pyrus pyrifolia, which is native to East Asia. Traditionally in Asia, these trees are a symbol of early spring.
You can eat Asian pears in various ways, either plain, in salads, pies, and they can also be eaten fried or with toppings.
They can be used in beef marinades too as they add a sweet taste to the dish. The best part of it all is that even if they are not available, there are loads of other options that could substitute perfectly.
Best Asian Pear Substitutes
1. Anjou pear
Anjou pear is a European pear with a similar flavor and texture as Asian pear. Its major features are its firmness and crunchiness. When you take a bite off this pear, you’d be surprised at how sweet and fruity it is, even if its flesh might not be as juicy as Korean pear.
Anjou pear is less expensive than Asian pear, making it more available in Korean grocery stores. It can be an alternate snack in Asian pear puree and salads.
2. Bosc pear
Another amazing Asian pear substitute is the bosc pear. Boscs’ are also popular in European stores and are great for pairing with cheese platters. They have a mild, sweet, and fruity flavor, maintaining their firm and juicy texture.
These cheeses are tasty, making them amazing to eat with other popular cheeses like gouda, blue cheese, and cheddar. They also work well for salads and coleslaws when some additional jerk sauce, olive oil, hot sauce, or brown sugar is added.
3. Forelle pears
If you love snacks you can eat with your salads, then Forelle pears should be a great choice. They are smaller compared to other pears and usually bell-shaped. Their stems are generally long and straight, and you can spot them with red freckles on their skin.
These ripe pears have a bright yellow color and amazing crispiness when dug into. Because of their small size, they cannot be used as marionettes ingredients, especially for tough meats.
4. Taylor’s gold pear
These are European varieties of pears grown in New Zealand and are known for their golden-brown color. You will find them rich, creamy, juicy, and with honey undertones when devouring them. They are perfect for jams, creme brulee, jellies, and sauces.
Taylor’s gold pear can be combined with either raw or cooked ingredients in baking, simmering, and poaching. They can be found in chicken salads, dipping snacks, pear tarts, pudding recipes, or topping for puree.
5. Bartlett pear
It is also known as the William pear and can conveniently be substituted for Asian pears. They have an almost perfect pear shape and can come in either medium or large sizes, and you have to choose which suits you better.
Kiwi is another amazing substitute for Asian pears. They are usually underrated but are great for marinating meats.
Culinarians discovered that kiwi contains the enzyme that breaks down meat protein and tenderizes your meat piece. Because of that, kiwi has a sweet and strong tanginess that gives your meat that extra tanginess.
However, make sure you do not leave kiwi with your meat as long as you leave Asian pears because you might ruin it.
If you’re in no hurry with your recipe, you could replace Asian pears with soda, but it would take a longer time for it to work. Culinarians have found that carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid that can denature meat in protein and connective tissues.
If you want to give your meat a bit of sweetness, you can choose those kiwis with added sugar to give it that sweetness when they are tenderized or soaked up. Also, it would be best if you didn’t leave the kiwi for so long that the meat won’t be overly tenderized and get mushed up.
So, you should time it for less than eight hours for you to have an enjoyable meat meal.
It is a good substitute for Asian pears, especially for marinating tough meats. The flavors gotten from the pineapple are simply divine as it provides you with a great balance for a sweet and fruity flavor.
They are very juicy and soft and the juices can be juiced out and mixed with citrus zest, pepper combo, dry mustard, and chili sauce. They are also great ingredients for certain bakes, cakes, and brownie recipes.
9. Fuji apple
So other fruits other than pears are included in for the people who might be allergic to pears but need something similar to add in dishes. Since these apples are similar to sweet apples, using them as replacements is understandable.
They have yellow-green skin with little traces of pink speckles. Their inside is normally fruity and munchy as it provides a total mix of balanced moisture. The flavor is naturally sweet and can be used for pear sauces and baking apple fries.
Even if these are not the best substitutes, you might love the results once given a trial. Oranges and pears do not have the same texture and flavor as oranges are softer and juicier, but they can add a really good flavor to your food.
Oranges can be used in sauces and marinades even if they complement sauces. And the best part is, oranges are not so expensive and can be found in most countries all year round.
What can I use instead of Asian pear in kimchi?
Kimchi is a popular Korean dish that uses Asian pear, and if there’s no Asian pear around where you stay, another pear or the ingredients listed above will do.
But for this dish, you should not use substitutes like pineapples, kiwis, or oranges because the result may not be good with your rice. However, you can substitute it with any other pear, and the results will come out beautiful.
What does Asian pear taste like?
At first glance, the pear appears firm with a yellow-brownish color. It has thick and rough skin, so it is preferable to peel it before being used. When a normal pear is cut in half, it radiates a bright yellow like a mango.
You can find them in Asian groceries at a higher price than other pears because you can use them for other reasons apart from eating raw.
Asian pear is one of the amazing ingredients that should be in your kitchen. Even if you do not readily get Asian pears from the groceries around you, you can easily order them online or replace them with the substitutes mentioned above.