Eating a Mikan (an Orange): The Japanese way

Mikan (n) – a Japanese orange / clementine

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Growing up in Texas, eating a grape or orange was as simple as peeling and popping it in your mouth. When I came to Japan, I was exposed to a whole new type of fruit. More specifically, I was confronted with my “barbaric” nature of eating fruits and vegetables (my Japanese fiance’s – Ryosuke’s- words, not mine).

All of a sudden I had to peel grapes (see an earlier post on how to eat Japanese Grapes), peel apples, and now, peel the skin off of each individual orange.

And let me tell you, without those bitter, pesky skins in the way, fruit became infinitely more delicious.

Recently, I went to a high-end mikan eating event. And by high-end, I mean surprisingly more classy and informative than I thought an orange or mikan eating event could be. I was in a room with almost 20 businessmen in suits who were intensely tasting and comparing the mikans.

Right away, I realized the way I ate mikans was wrong (I’m usually wrong about these kinds of things); one of the staff was kind enough to teach me.

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How to eat Japanese Mikans (clementine/orange)

1. Peel the mikan. The thickness of each peel depends on the type of mikan (as I recently learned from a mikan eating event).

If you're unlucky, you might get stuck with a peel like this

If you’re unlucky, you might get stuck with a peel like this

2. Break the mikan into individual slices. If you’re sharing the mikan (which usually happens), try not to be like me and always grab the largest slice.

3. Bite the top of mikan and spit the top of the peel out. The purpose of this is so that you can peel each side of the mikan. Throw the top that you bit off in your “mikan disposal plate.”

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4. Peel each side individually, pulling from the top down. Rip each side off and put them in the “mikan disposal plate.”

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5. Using your fingernail, flip out any seeds into the “mikan disposal plate.”

The "mikan disposal plate"

The “mikan disposal plate”

6. Eat the mikan slice. If you are especially picky (or whatever you want to call it), you can also pull off the bottom peel.

7. Repeat steps 2-6 until the mikan is finished!

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Ta-daa! You’ve eating a mikan without disturbing anyone with your “barbaric foreign ways” (my once again, Ryosuke’s words, not mine).

Just make sure not to:

A. Eat the peel.

B. Swallow the seeds.

C. Spit out the seeds (unless you’re eating with friends)

D. Complain about how long, tedious this process is. 

Add me on Google Plus: +Grace Buchele

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2 responses to “Eating a Mikan (an Orange): The Japanese way

  1. How interesting. When eating tangerines, I remember how you would always make one long peal, and then put it back together to make an empty ball. This does look like a lot more work.

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