14 Delicious Asian Pear Substitutes for Bulgogi and Other Meats

Asian pears, also known as Korean pears or Japanese pears, are spherical and golden in color, which is why they resemble apples. They have a crunchy and gritty texture and taste like pears and apples with a tinge of pineapple.

If your recipe asks for Asian pears and you can’t locate any at home or in the store, here are 14 substitutes that will give you the same flavor and crunch.

Asian pears are a delicious fruit to consume on their own or in combination with meat dishes. Let’s learn more about these 14 top Asian pear replacements to help you decide what to buy.

14 Best Substitute For Asian Pear

Asian pears are said to have originated in East Asia. They feature apple-pear traits and a constant crunch, unlike their European equivalents.

Asian pears, which are a fantastic meat tenderizer, are also a not-so-secret component in Korean meats. Because of their superpower (an enzyme called calpain), they are often used as a marinade or ingredient in Korean BBQ meat, grilled short ribs, steak, galbi, and salad.

1. Anjou pear

Anjou pear, on the other hand, is a European pear with a strong crunch similar to Asian pear. Anjou pear is best described as firm and juicy, regardless of whether you pick the red or green kind. It’s short and fat, with the form of a gigantic egg.

While the Asian pear still reigns supreme in terms of juiciness, the Anjou pear is a good runner-up. Anjou pears are best eaten fresh, but because of their firm structure, they may also be used in cakes, bread, and other sweet delicacies. It is also less expensive and more commonly accessible in supermarkets.

2. Bosc pear

The Bosc pear’s elongated appearance has given it the moniker “aristocrat of pears.”Aside from its magnificent appearance, it also boasts a sweet flavor with floral and spice overtones. If autumn had a pear equivalent, it would be the Bosc pear.

The solid texture of the pear and the cinnamon-nutmeg undertones make it an attractive option for Asian pear. This mix makes it ideal for cheese platters and salads.

Bosc pear’s luscious sweetness enhances foods whether served fresh or as a side dish. Baking and poaching are other good cooking techniques for Bosc pear since, like Asian pear, it can preserve its shape and not turn into a mushy sauce.

3. Kiwi

The ability of Asian pear to tenderize meats makes it a popular ingredient in meat marinades. Kiwi contains calpain, which makes it an effective tenderizer. Calpain softens and tenderizes tough meats and squid by breaking down their proteins.

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Because kiwi has higher tenderizing ability than Asian pear, it is advised to soak the meat in it for half the time. Otherwise, you run the danger of over-tenderizing.

Everyone who has had kiwi knows that the fruit flavor is stronger and tangier. While your marinade may reflect this change, the cooked meat or squid will hardly detect this out-of-the-ordinary kiwi flavor. Don’t worry, your Korean bulgogi will keep tasting the same!

4. Soda

Soda, like kiwi, is an option to Asian pears when looking for a marinade fix. If any, it should be number one since who doesn’t have soda in their fridge? Another advantage is that any carbonated beverage (cola, lemon, or orange taste) will suffice.

Simply soak your meat or seafood in the soda to use as a marinade. The soda softens the meat and contributes to the sweetness (using flavored soda helps).

It is the marinade of choice for the busy individual since the acid components of the soda can simulate the meat tenderizing capabilities of the Asian pear at a quicker rate.

A.1. Classic Marinade

This substitution is not meant to be a cheat, but rather a suggestion for individuals who may have an A.1. Classic Marinade on hand. If you’re a conventional bulgogi chef with time on your hands, pretend you didn’t come across this number.

A.1. As the name implies, Classic Marinade may be used in lieu of Asian pears as a meat marinade. This is perfect for individuals who are in a rush or want a less time-consuming procedure that does not need the Asian pear method.

5. Forelle pear

Forelle pears are sweet and petite, but they are not lacking in taste. They’re crunchy and have a cinnamon tint to them, making them the ideal mid-sized snack.

Forelle pears are green while young and become yellow as they mature. They bear the distinctive red freckles or lenticels that give rise to the name troutin German.

Its sweetness and crispness make it a suitable Asian pear replacement. Forelle pears would complement salads and sides due to their petite size and firm texture. If you’re seeking for a marinade substitute, Forelle pears may not be the best option.

6. Bartlett pear

The Bartlett pear, sometimes known as the Williams pear, is a delicious tart, sweet, and juicy delicacy. If we could call it anything else, it would be the common pear found in the United States.

The canned pears at your grocer are almost certainly Bartlett pears. That’s how well-liked they are!

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Because of its sweetness, buttery texture, and somewhat gritty flavor, Bartlett pear remains a formidable Asian pear replacement. Because of its smooth texture and huge size, it is favored for baked products, desserts, and drinks.

Because Bartlett pears are juicy without being crunchy, they make an excellent complement to marinades and side dishes.

7. Taylor’s gold pear

Why isn’t Taylor’s gold pear famous? It’s a melt-in-your-mouth pear. To begin with, it is not accessible in every country. If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, here is your opportunity.

Nonetheless, Taylors gold pear has a robust, sweet honey flavor that melts your heart. It’s great on its own, especially with its creamy and luscious texture.

Taylors golden pear is a suitable Asian pear substitute for creamy desserts, sauces, and jams due to these properties.

If you don’t have a sweet palate, Taylor’s gold pear may be used in salads, side dishes, or meals that call for a pureed topping. This would be a fragrant complement to your meals, raw or cooked.

8. Comice Pear

If you’ve ever wondered what sort of pears are used to fill those beautiful Christmas baskets, look no further. Comice pears, which come in red and green varieties, are the well-known Christmas pears and have the same moniker. They are the pears that be eaten right from the basket because they are pleasantly sweet and have a thin skin.

Comice apples aren’t only for the holidays. The French like this pear with their creamy fromage or with Brie cheese. Comice pears are smooth (not as gritty as other pears), soft, and juicy, making them an excellent substitute for Asian pear dishes that demand for a sweet and creamy texture.

Poaching may not be the best way for Comice pears, but consider their versatility in baking, desserts, and sauces.

9. Fuji apple

We say goodbye to the pear family as we investigate alternative fruits to Asian pears. If you are allergic to pears, you might choose the Fuji apple. Pears are linked to and taste similar to sweet apples.

Fuji apples are not Snow White red, but rather yellow-green with pink specks. They are distinguished by their exceptional crunch and plenty of juice. Fresh Fuji apples are unexpectedly sweet and solid, and may be used in baked or sautéed meals and sauces in lieu of Asian pears.

Fuji apples cannot completely replace Asian pears due to their milder taste, but they may elevate meals that need that flavor complement.

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10. Pineapple

Pineapples have a unique sweet and tangy taste that immediately transports you to the beach. That is not all they are capable of. Pineapples have a tangy flavor that makes them a good replacement for Asian pears.

Pineapples are not only endowed with a sweet and delicious taste. They are capable of marinating your tough Korean bulgogi meat. To boost your pineapple marinade mix, you may add a variety of additional ingredients such as pepper, garlic, chile, brown sugar, or citrus zest as a meat tenderizer.

Pineapples are available fresh or canned depending on where you reside. Fresh pineapples may be difficult to peel, but the main thing is to choose pineapples with no added sugar since they are naturally sunshiny sweet.

11. Orange

We go from apples to oranges. Oranges have a distinct flavor (juicy citrus) and texture (soft and pulpy), but they may also be used in place of Asian pears. We’ve all heard that adding an orange spritz to your meals may provide a nice zing to poultry, pork, and salads.

Oranges will sweeten marinades and give foods a glazed taste. Oranges, unlike Asian pears, cannot be pureed or chopped, but they are simple to squeeze and contain a lot of juice.

Oranges are also accessible all year, so they will never be in short supply.

12. Pink lady apple

Pink lady apples (Cripps Pink) are crisp and delicious, as you’d expect from a blush-colored apple. They may be used as a general alternative for Asian pears since they can provide more than simply rich applesauce.

Pink lady apples are excellent for making sweet jams and fresh salad pieces. They may be pureed, roasted, and, perhaps most importantly, used as a sweet marinade for meats for grilling.

Aside from keeping the doctor away, one apple may provide you with a reasonable quantity of delicious, juicy fruit.

13. Flavored juice

Flavored juice is last on the list, but it is still worth mentioning. We’ve previously discussed Coke and other fruits, so it’s only reasonable to offer fruit juice as a replacement for Asian pears.

Use this replacement to add flavor to dishes and marinades. It may be used as a liquid alternative to improve recipes or marinade steak. Just keep in mind that the juice you choose will have a somewhat different flavor profile and texture. Juice is dense and watery, and cannot match the thickness of Asian pears.

Since we’re on the subject of liquids, you might also experiment with pear syrup.


What can I use instead of pears in bulgogi?

If you can’t get Asian pears, use a sweet apple like Fuji or Bosc pear instead. DO NOT SUBSTITUTE RICE WINE FOR RICE VINEGAR.

What is a substitute for Asian pears in Korean BBQ?

The 5 Best Asian Pear Substitutes
Anjou Pear is number one.
Bosc Pear is number two.
Forelle Pear is number three.
Bartlett Pear is number four.
5 – Apple Fuji.

What is a substitute for a pear in Korean short ribs?

If you don’t have Korea Pears, substitute kiwis. Kiwi, like Korean pears, has enzymes that break down collagen in meat while also giving a subtle sweetness. (We propose substituting 4 whole Kiwis for 12 whole Korean Pears).

What are the best pears for Korean marinade?

The meat is seasoned with sesame and scallion, and the marinade contains ripe pears to tenderize the meat and provide a distinctive sweetness. Traditional pears are round, light yellow Asian pears, although Bosc pears work just as well.

What can replace pear in Korean food?

Typically, Koreans include the pear while marinating meat (for example, Bulgogi) because it tenderizes the flesh. This is apparently done by the enzyme calpain. When it is not available (for creating marinade), kiwi or pineapple may be substituted.

What fruit is most similar to pear?

Pome fruits like as apples, pears, nashi, and quince are cultivated from spring flower and harvested from late summer to late fall.

What meat can I substitute for short ribs?

Flavorful, easy-to-prepare boneless short ribs aren’t really sliced from the cow’s rib area, as the name suggests. They are sliced from the animal’s chuck, or shoulder. As a result, when boneless short ribs are unavailable, chuck roast is the ideal option.

What can I use instead of short rib Korean BBQ?

As previously stated, asado slices are popular in Korean BBQ, particularly in the United States. These are beef ribs sliced in a distinctive manner (across the bone). alternatives to Korean cut beef short ribs

The following are the finest alternatives and substitutes for Korean cut beef short ribs: The galbi Best alternatives

Does Korean pear tenderize meat?

Pear juice or puree is frequently used in Korean meat marinades to provide sweetness while also tenderizing the meat.

What fruit is best to marinade meat?

Many fruits, including kiwifruit, pineapple, and papaya, have enzymes that tenderize meat. While it may not provide the same concentrated flavor as dry-aging, fruit can be added to a marinade and will operate much quicker.

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