Find out how to eat hachiya persimmons and know when they're ripe! Sweet and juicy flesh, soft luscious texture, it's like nature's candy.
If you've tried hachiya persimmons, you'll know they are highly sought after and popular in the winter. Their texture and flavor remind me so much of a sweet tropical fruit that's available during late fall and early winter.
They start out hard and firm, but will soften up and turn almost jelly-like in texture when fully ripe. Be sure to wait until they're totally ripe and soft before consuming. More details on this below.
They're very popular and have a short season so if you see these gems in the supermarket, be sure to pick them up before they're all gone.
How to buy them
When picking out hachiya persimmons, you want to look for one with a smooth surface that's free of any bruises or open scratches. Avoid ones that have split open and are already too soft.
At the grocery stores, they will usually be hard and firm and will require ripening to consume them. This is because they are picked from the trees while still hard for easier transportation.
Once you bring them home, give them a good wash while they are still firm. They become very delicate and fragile once fully ripe so it's best to wash them while they are underripe.
How to ripen hachiya persimmons
Hachiya persimmons can take weeks of patience and careful prodding to ripen depending on how firm they were when you bought them. If they feel rock hard, you may have to wait up to 2 weeks to ripen them out on your counter.
But if you don't want to wait that long, here's a shortcut to speed up ripening: Place the persimmons in a single layer inside a paper bag or a container along with an apple. Make sure to keep them at room temperature and loosely covered to allow for slight air flow. The ethylene gas from the apple will speed up the ripening process so check back every 2 days to see if they're ripe and ready to eat.
When are they ripe?
You will know it's ripe when they're completely soft and squishy feeling. Think of a full water balloon. It should feel like that because the insides literally turn to a jelly consistency and it's delicious.
They should give completely when you gently squeeze them. Make sure to check that the flesh around the stem is soft as that's the last part of the fruit to ripen.
How to eat hachiya persimmons
My favorite way to eat these is just plain fresh. Yep. Cut it in half and dig out with a spoon. The texture is like soft and jelly like with an incredible sweetness.
You can also stick them in the freezer for 24 hours once they’re completely ripe, then cut them in half and dig out the flesh with a spoon.
Frozen hachiya persimmons are exactly like sorbet but healthier. It has that creamy soft serve texture without all the calories. Your tastebuds will thank you a thousand times!
In Korea, these are eaten both fresh and dried. The dried fruit is called gotgam 곶감. To dry them, they're peeled while underripe and then hung on ropes until they form a sugar crust and have a chewy texture.
They're so amazingly delicious and taste like candy. It's the BEST dried fruit I've ever had. If you see any at your local Korean or Asian market, pick some up and try them. You'll love it!
I hope you found these tips helpful for how to ripen and eat hachiya persimmons!