How To Seed a Pomegranate the Easy Way

Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

The unwritten subtitle on this one is really "without creating a gigantic mess in your kitchen." As delicious as they are, pomegranates are notorious for leaving your counters, your cupboards, and yourself splattered with sticky deep-red juice. Here's how to do it while keeping the crime-scene-like mess to a minimum.

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Pomegranates are a completely bizarre fruit, in my opinion. Packed into a single globe are hundreds of tiny gem-like seeds, properly called arils (which are the actual seed plus the bubble of tart juice surrounding it). The seeds are cushioned by thick spongy pith and then separated into distinct chambers by thin waxy membranes. Picking one open is like going spelunking in a cavern of endless ruby-colored fruit.

Dozens of methods for opening and seeding a pomegranate have been developed over the years, from diving in with your fingers to thwacking the pomegranate with a spoon. The method on which I have settled involves tearing the pomegranate into segments and easing the seeds from their casings while submerged in a bowl of water. Of all the methods, I find that this one is both the easiest and gives me the greatest number of intact seeds.

Do you have a favorite method?

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How to Seed a Pomegranate The Easy Way

What You Need

Ingredients
One pomegranate

Equipment
Paring knife
A large bowl of warm water
Strainer
Baking sheet for drying the seeds

Instructions

1. Cut a cone-shaped slice from the top. Insert a paring knife into the top of the pomegranate, angling toward the middle. Cut a cone-shaped piece and gently pry it out.

2. Cut a slice from the bottom. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of the pomegranate.

3. Score the ridges. Looking down at the pomegranate, you'll see ridges radiating out from the top. Run your paring knife along those ridges, scoring the skin and cutting about 1/8-inch into the pith.

4. Break the pomegranate into segments. Grasp the pomegranate in both hands with your thumbs on the cone-shaped indention on top. Gently tear the two halves apart. They should split evenly along the score-marks. Continue tearing the pomegranate along the score marks into individual segments.

5. Release the seeds into the water. Working one segment at a time, submerge a segment into the water and gently pry away the seeds with your fingertips. The seeds will sink to the bottom while bits of the membrane will float to the top. Repeat with all your segments.

6. Strain the seeds. Scoop out the membrane floating on the top of the water with a small strainer or your hands. Strain the seeds from the water.

7. Use or store the seeds. The seeds can be used immediately. For longer-term storage, spread the seeds on a baking sheet to dry, then store in an airtight container for up to a week.


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(Images: Emma Christensen)