Basic Kitchen Tips: How to segment an orange

Episode 8: How to cut citrus fruit into segments ST VIDEO

SINGAPORE - Everyone has their own way of peeling an orange.

Some people cut them into wedges - think Chinese restaurant dessert platter-style. Some peel it with a paring knife. My mother is deft at this: She rotates the orange with one hand while the other peels the skin off in one long, continuous motion.

But what do you do when your recipe calls for segments?

Orange or grapefruit segments usually feature in salad recipes, as well as some recipes for roast meats and game. Cutting citrus fruit into segments is a great way to get kids to eat it too - no complaints about oranges being bitter or too chewy, no spat-out mess of fibrous membranes.

In this video, I demonstrate how to segment citrus fruit. First, cut off the top and the bottom of the orange so that you have a flat base to work with. Next, you need to cut off the skin, just deep enough so that you remove the pith and expose the fruit, yet without cutting away too much off it. Trim off all excess pith.

You can then turn the orange on its side, and cut between each segment and the connective membrane; or hold the orange over a bowl - it tends to get quite drippy from the juices - and segment it accordingly, cutting as close as possible to the connective membrane walls.

Save what is left to make juice, which you can add to your salad dressing, sauce, or just keep it in the fridge and use it in the juicer the next morning.

However, I would not use this technique on pomelo. Each pomelo carpel can be easily separated from the membrane by hand - you just have do it slowly and have plenty of patience.