Learn how to peel and cut a kiwi using a few simple techniques. The juicy bright green flesh can be sliced, diced, or beautifully designed for stunning presentations. It’s a versatile ingredient to add to smoothies, salads, and desserts.
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Kiwifruit, also called Chinese gooseberry, has an intriguing emerald green flesh that adds a surprise element to any recipe. In this tutorial, I share my easy step-by-step tips for peeling and cutting so that you can add them to any meal. You can enjoy it raw in fruit salads. Otherwise, its sturdy texture makes it easy to cook.
Although the hairy exterior may seem challenging to break through, it’s very thin and easy to remove. Once you do, the soft flesh has speckles with crunchy black seeds that add a delightful contrast in texture. The good news is they are available year-round due to different growing regions and imports.
Step 1: Wash
Make sure to rinse the outer skin with cool running water thoroughly and dry with a clean paper towel. This process ensures that any dirt or bacteria does not transfer to the flesh when cutting.
Step 2: Cut off both ends
The easiest way to remove the skin is to first cut off a small portion of each end. This technique makes it much easier to see the layers and start peeling.
Step 3: Remove the peel (3-ways)
Method 1: Use a knife
Place the kiwi on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut down from top to bottom lengthwise. Rotate the fruit, slicing just the skin until only the green flesh remains. Take your time and try to leave as much flesh intact as possible. This method yields pieces that might look slightly less spherical on the edges, but it doesn’t require extra tools.
Method 2: Use a peeler
My favorite method because it gives the most control and a smoother surface. The thin shallow blade of a vegetable peeler cuts off just the right amount. Once you cut the ends off, hold the fruit with your fingertips, then peel. I like to use a Y-peeler for the most ergonomic grip.
Method 3: Use a spoon
The spoon method is easiest when you have a ripe kiwi. Otherwise, you’ll lose a significant amount of juice while making a huge mess. Slide a spoon into the edge of one of the cut sides, push down against the side of the skin, then circle it around until it comes back to the starting point. Lightly press the skin so the flesh releases.
Step 2: Cut into smaller pieces (3-ways)
Method 1: Rounds
Place the kiwi on its side lengthwise, then slice down to create discs. Make the width about ¼ to ½-inch thick. This method works well for a fruit platter or when decorating tarts or cakes.
Method 2: Quarters
Cut the fruit in half lengthwise, then again to create quarters. Slice the long strips into smaller pieces, about ¼ to ½-inch thick. I like this style for adding them to fruit salads or toppings for yogurt, oatmeal, or desserts, like ice cream.
Method 2: Cubes
To make smaller dice, about ¼-inch in size, I cut the fruit lengthwise into pieces. Then cut again into thin strips, then chop into small cubes. This size is perfect for adding as a garnish for desserts or mixing into a salsa.
Method 3: Zig-zag design
Instead of just cutting the kiwi in half, why not take an extra minute to make a fancy and fun design. Use a small paring knife to cut a zig-zag pattern along the center perimeter, about halfway through.
If needed, poke the blade in further until it can be easily separated to reveal the pattern. Try this cutting technique if you’re planning to eat the fruit with a spoon or want a pretty design for garnish on the side of a fruit platter or charcuterie board.
The peak season is between October to May. However, it’s usually available all year long if imported. Look for a plump kiwi that has some give when lightly pressed. If it’s aromatic and slightly soft, it will have a sweeter flavor. Firmer ones will be very sour and need more time. Skip the overly soft or wrinkly-skinned ones. They are overripe and losing moisture, making the texture mushier.
You can store unripe fruit at room temperature until ripe or up to 1 month in the refrigerator, then set it on the counter. It’s best to keep ripe kiwifruit at room temperature and away from direct sunlight if using within days after purchase.
If it’s ripe, but you’re not ready to use it, then refrigerate at around 32 to 35ºF (0 to 1.7ºC) for about 5 to 10 days. Store cut pieces in an airtight container inside the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
Ways to use kiwi
- Add some to a smoothie for extra fiber
- Add slices or cubes on top of an acai bowl
- Grill sections for a salad or pair with protein for kabobs
- Topping for yogurt or oatmeal
- Make a tropical fruit salad
- Mix into a mango or pineapple salsa
Native to Southern China, these semi-tropical plants grow on woody vines. Kiwi is a large berry from the family Actinidiaceae. The Actinidia deliciosa species is more commonly sold at markets, with most commercial production coming mainly from California, Chile, and New Zealand.
Place the fruit in a loosely closed paper bag for a few days. To accelerate the process, add a banana or apple, checking texture after each day. The ethylene gas emitted from the other fruit will speed up the process. It’s ready when it yields to a gentle squeeze.
Yes! The skin is edible and high in fiber as long as you don’t mind the fuzzy texture. Make sure to wash well to remove any dirt, spoilage organisms, and pesticide residue.
Some people are allergic to kiwifruit. Symptoms may include hives, a hard time swallowing, or vomiting. Pay attention to any of these reactions when eating for the first time.
Yes, but no more than 2 hours at room temperature. Bacteria rapidly grow faster on hot days. Store freshly cut pieces in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days. Discard when it becomes mushy or discolored.
Kiwi is nutrient-dense, notably in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It aids in digestion, composed of ⅓ soluble and ⅔ soluble fiber. The flesh contains an enzyme called actinidin, which helps break down protein. Their high level of vitamin C also helps to boost the immune system [Source].
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How to Cut a Kiwi
- 1 kiwi
- Rinse the fruit under cool running water, scrubbing away any dirt. Dry between a clean towel.
- Place on a cutting board and lay on its side. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends off each side.
- Use a spoon that fits nicely around the sides of the fruit. Push the spoon into the edge of one cut end, then rotate against the skin until the flesh releases. Alternatively, use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to peel away the skin, turning and cutting until completely removed.
- Cut the flesh into rounds, quarters, or cubes of your desired size.
- For a zig-zag design: Use a paring knife to make a zig-zag pattern around the center perimeter of the fruit. Press about halfway into the flesh with each cut until it can be pulled apart into two halves.
- Storing: Place cut pieces in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days. Discard once the flesh becomes brown or mushy.
- Freezing: Store in a single layer in a large resealable bag. Fruit can be frozen for up to 12 months.
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