TASTE
11/04/2011 11:26 am ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Zest Citrus And Segment An Orange

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Watch this video to learn how to zest a citrus fruit with a microplane grater and how to segment an orange.

Video Transcript


I'm Chef John Reilly from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to zest and segment a citrus fruit.

Today we're going to be using an orange.

For our zesting part we're going to be using a microplane, a very nice tool that is very sharp, and does a great job of grating - particularly cheeses and also citrus fruits.

Very simply, we're going to take our orange and rub it nicely over the top of our microplane, and we just want to scrape off the surface of the orange. We have quite a bit of this zest falling off. Now all our zest is off our orange, and we'll make sure our microphone is nice and clean, and we collect all our zest and put it into a bowl. There's many applications we can use zest for: salads, dressings, even the occasional sauce.

Next we're going to segment our orange. First, we remove all the rind from the outside of the orange. W'ere going around in a sort of half-moon semicircle, and we want to get off all this white pith.

I'll show you two basic techniques to segment our orange. One is to run our knife down between the membranes on each side, and then remove only the segment of the orange. This technique is simple and basic. The other technique is we cut all the way down with the knife, turn it,and cut up the other side in the same movement, and we continue to pop out our segments.

Since we've segmented our fruit, it's nice, it doesn't have any membrane or anything that's hard that's associated with it.

Now we can use the segments in salads or many other applications, and the occasional sauce.