Pickled Asian Pears (Wor Mei Lei)

READY IN: 72hrs 15mins
Recipe by Gandalf The White

This is from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's "The Chinese Kitchen", one of the finest classic Chinese cookbooks in English. In this reciped, she uses "sah leh" (sand pears) and recommends substituting Bosc pears, but I have done this with Asian pears, specifically Hosui or Niitaka. The desirable characteristic is a hard, crisp fruit. This is a wonderful appetizer or amuse bouche ... You can either pickle the pears whole, or for an appetizer, you can julienne them.

Top Review by Debbwl

Made these using Bosc pears would recommend quartering or slicing and rice vinegar. The sugar and vinegar are well balanced to make a tasty treat. We found they made a good snack, ie appetizer. May try putting some with either grilled meat or a salad.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 lbs pears, very hard, barely ripe
  • 1 13 cups Chinese white rice vinegar (can substitute distilled vinegar ( cider vinegar not recommended (adds too much apple flaovor)
  • 1 13 cups water
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Peel, wash, and dry the pears (julienne if you choose to -- ).
  2. Place all the remaining ingredients in an oversize glass jar.
  3. Mix well (non-metallic utensil, wood preferred) to ensure all the ingredients are dissolved.
  4. Add the pears to the jar, mix again, and cover tightly.
  5. Keep in refrigerator, undisturbed, for at least 3 days before use.
  6. These pears will keep refrigerated for at least 6 months.

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