Asian pear is such an exotic fruit that I love to have in many of my recipes. Its unique flavor and texture always help elevate my Korean dishes’ flavor in many ways.
Nevertheless, this fruit is also quite pricey. So, what can you use as an Asian Pear substitute?
You can choose another pear, such as Anjou Pears, Bosc Pear, Forelle Pears, Bartlett Pear, Taylor’s Gold Pear because they have the same flavor and texture when using the same recipes.
Besides, you can use other fruit in case don’t have any pears. So, let’s find out the list of alternatives that you can pick for your dish!
What Does An Asian Pear Taste Like?
Is there any difference between Korean pear vs. Asian pear? Asian pear, also known as Korean pear and Nashi pear, is a tasty pear type that can be eaten raw and cooked.
You can find them in Korean and Japanese cuisine for savory and dessert recipes because of their versatile flavor and texture.
So, what does Asian pear taste like?
At first glance, the pear is firm with a yellow-brown skin color. The skin is quite thick and rough, so it is preferable to peel the skin before you eat.
When a regular pear is cut in half, the inside flesh is bright yellow like mangos or apples with a nice crunchiness texture.
The pear flavor is fruity, extra juicy with a strong sweet taste and floral notes. You can find them sold in many Asian grocery stores at a higher price than regular pears because they are not only for eating raw.
9 Of The Best Fruits To Use As Asian Pear Substitute
Although Asian pear is a marvelous fruit, its price can be expensive to be used for daily meals. So, if you prefer something familiar that can do the job of Asian pear, check out the best Asian pear substitute:
1. Anjou Pears
Anjou pear is a European pear with a flavor and texture similar to Asian pear. Its firmness and crunchiness are their great features.
When taking a bite, Anjou is amazingly sweet and fruity like an Asian pear. However, their flesh might not be as juicy as Korean pear.
A bonus point for this tasty pear is its low price, making it easier for you to buy them in Korean grocery stores for your original recipe.
Anjou can be used as an alternative snack or ingredients in salads and Asian pear puree.
2. Bosc Pear
An amazing Asian pear alternative is Bosc pear. They are another popular European pear variety that is great for pairing with cheese platters.
Their flavor is mild with sweet, fruity, and floral notes inside its juicy and firm texture, similar to Asian pears and a great Anjou alternative.
Because of their tasty flavor, Bosc pears are amazing to eat with popular cheese like Gouda, cheddar, and blue cheese.
They are also great for coleslaw and salads with some additional jerk sauce, black pepper, olive oil, hot sauce, and brown sugar.
3. Forelle Pears
If you love a great salad snack, you should check out Forelle pears. Forelle pears are one of the smallest types of pears with a bell shape.
They usually come with a long and straight stem. A great way you can spot them is the red freckle or lenticels on their skin.
When entering the flesh, these ripe pears have a bright yellow with amazing crispiness and sweet flavor that can substitute for Asian pear in colorful salads, snacks, and desserts.
Because of their small size, Forelle pear might not be the perfect marinade ingredient for tough meats.
4. Bartlett Pear
A good Asian pear replacement is Bartlett pear. It is also known as Williams pears in many places in the world.
It is similar to apricots, apples, and peaches with a distinct fragrance and sweet flavor making it a good substitute for Nashi pears.
William pears are available in medium and large sizes with a true pyriform shape. The thin green skin becomes yellow as it matures with a smooth and firm texture.
When it is ripe, the Bartlett pear can have ivory skin with a moist and crunchy texture. The Williams pear characteristics are a tart, juicy, smooth, buttery, sweet, and gritty taste suited to many desserts and cocktails.
As they are super juicy and large, you can use them for marinating tender meat for a Korean barbecue or bake and grill them on a cast iron skillet as side dishes.
5. Taylor’s Gold Pear
Another medium to the large pear that is similar to Asian pears is Taylor’s Gold pear. They are European varieties of pears growing in New Zealand with a golden brown color.
Their shape is similar to comice pear with a dark brown stem. You will find a rich, juicy, creamy, with a strong sweet taste and honey undertones on the inside.
As they are such tasty pear varieties, people tend to use Taylor’s Gold pears for jams, creme brulee, pear sauce, and jellies.
You can use raw or cooked ingredients in baking, poaching, and simmering. They are often found in chicken salads, pasta salads, dipping snacks, or topping for pear puree, pear tart, and pudding recipes.
6. Fuji Apple
Now, if you are allergic to pears, you can always use a different type of fruit to substitute it in dishes. As they are related to the sweet apple, it is understandable to use Fuji apples to substitute Korean pears.
Fuji apples have yellow-green skin with pink speckles. Their flesh inside is crispy and crunchy with a balance of moisture.
The flavor of this apple is amazingly sweet and fresh that you can use for your salads and pear sauce. You can also use this sweet apple for baking apple fries because of its firmness.
Pineapple is an amazing Korean pear substitute for marinating tough meat. The pineapple flavor is remarkable, with a great balance of sweet and fruity with a noticeable tanginess.
Furthermore, they are super juicy with soft yellow flesh that you can juice them out to make a good soaking mixture of citrus zest, pepper combo, dry mustard, cloves garlic, brown sugar, and chila sauce for your Bulgogi marinade meat.
They are also great ingredients in a bland baking dish, cakes, or brownie recipe. You can use pineapples for refreshing smoothies or grill them to combine with your savory dishes.
An underrated ingredient for marinating meats in Asian pear recipes is Kiwi. For culinary knowledge, Kiwi also has the same enzyme that breaks down meat protein and tenderizes the piece of meat.
Because of that, Kiwi has a fruity and strong tanginess that can give your meat an extra effect. However, you shouldn’t leave Kiwi with meat as long as with Asian pear because you may run the risk of tenderizing it.
Now, if you’re in a hurry with no Asian pears for your Bulgogi marinade meat, a great ingredient that can do the job great is soda. A carbonated beverage contains a decent amount of phosphoric acid that can denature the meat protein and connective tissues.
You can choose those with added sugar to give your meat a nice sweetness once they are all soaked up and tenderized.
However, it is important to not leave it for too long as a soda can over tenderize the meat and leave it mushy.
So, keep your timing to less than 8 hours, and the Korean beef should be juicy and soft to have for your mealtime.