Orange zest is a great way to add flavour and aroma to a variety of dishes, from desserts to savoury dishes. Zesting an orange involves removing the outer layer of the skin, or the zest, which contains essential oils and is packed with flavour. However, it can be tricky to get just the right amount of zest without getting too much of the bitter white pith underneath.
Thankfully, there are several methods for zesting an orange, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. One popular method is to use a microplane, which is a handheld grater with very fine teeth that can easily remove the zest from the orange without getting too much of the pith. Another method involves using a vegetable peeler or paring knife to carefully remove strips of the zest, being careful not to get too much of the pith.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, learning how to zest an orange is a valuable skill that can elevate your cooking to the next level. In this article, we’ll explore several different methods for zesting an orange, as well as some tips and tricks for getting the most flavour out of your zest.
What You’ll Need
Zesting an orange is a simple process, but you’ll need a few kitchen utensils to get started:
- An Orange: Make sure to choose a fresh orange that is firm and free of blemishes.
- A Zester: A zester is a small kitchen tool that is specifically designed for removing the zest from citrus fruits. You can also use a microplane, box grater, vegetable peeler, or a knife.
- A Cutting Board: Use a cutting board to hold the orange in place while you zest it.
- A Bowl: Place the zest in a bowl as you remove it from the orange.
- A Brush: Use a brush to scrub the orange skin before zesting it to remove any dirt or residue.
Make sure to wash the orange thoroughly with water and a drop of dish soap before zesting it. This will help remove any wax or pesticides that may be on the skin.
Once you have all of the necessary tools, you’re ready to start zesting your orange. Follow the instructions below to learn how to zest an orange using different kitchen utensils.
Learning how to zest an orange is a simple process that can elevate any dish’s flavour. Here are the steps to follow:
- Wash the orange thoroughly with water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Choose your tool. A microplane is the best option for zesting an orange, but you can also use a box grater or a vegetable peeler.
- Hold the orange firmly in one hand and the tool in the other.
- If using a microplane, gently rub the orange’s skin against the sharp metal plate. Be careful not to press too hard, or you’ll end up with a bitter white pith. Rotate the orange to get as much zest as possible.
- If using a box grater, carefully rub the orange against the grater’s small holes, moving it up and down until you have the desired amount of zest. Be careful not to grate too deep into the white pith, or you’ll end up with a bitter taste.
- If using a vegetable peeler, gently peel off thin strips of the orange’s skin. Be careful not to get any of the white pith.
- Once you have the desired amount of zest, use it in your recipe immediately or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Now that you know how to zest an orange, you can add a burst of citrus flavour to any dish you make. Try adding orange zest to baked goods, marinades, or salad dressings for a delicious twist!
Tips and Tricks
Zesting an orange can be a bit tricky, but with a few tips and tricks, you can do it like a pro. Here are some helpful hints:
- Use a microplane for the best results. Microplanes are great for zesting because they are sharp and can easily remove the zest without getting into the pith.
- Turn the orange frequently. This will help you get all the zest off without getting too much of the pith, which can be bitter.
- Use a light touch. If you press too hard, you can end up with larger pieces of zest that can be difficult to work with.
- Wash the orange before zesting. This will help remove any dirt or debris that may be on the skin.
If you don’t have a microplane, you can also use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the zest. Just be sure to remove only the coloured part of the skin and not the white pith, which can be bitter.
When you’re done zesting, you can store the zest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze it for longer storage.