Thai-style Pomelo Salad

4 Aug

Pomelo is an exotic fruit that you have a fighting chance of seeing in the Western hemisphere, particularly if you go to an Asian supermarket. It looks like a grapefruit on steroids: a good pomelo is about the size of a soccer ball.

The comparison continues on the inside: the rind is about an inch (or more) thick, and the segments are in skin so tough that you need a knife to pierce the membrane. It tastes a lot like grapefruit, too, but oddly less intense, as if the bitterness and tartness were diluted with size.

Sorry for the wonky color -- it's dark in my kitchen

Pomelo is delicious eaten by itself, of course, and often is, but it’s also frequently used in salads, like the one I made for dinner on Tuesday night. It’s loosely based on a recipe on the Rasa Malaysia blog; by loosely, I mean that I had about five minutes to throw it together, and only about half of the ingredients. It was still pretty tasty. Click on the link for the full version (which requires a bit of planning) or see below for my shortcut version (which can be made with things that are probably already in your kitchen, if you have a pomelo).

The finished product, in a somewhat utilitarian presentation

Thai-style Pomelo Salad
(serves two as part of a meal)


1/2 a pomelo
1 to 2 shallots
1 bird’s-eye chili, or any small hot chili
Juice of one lime, or 3 calamansi limes if you have them
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (substitute with salt, to taste, or vegetarian fish sauce)
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Cilantro for garnishing


  1. Peel and segment the pomelo, removing all the membrane.
  2. Thinly slice the shallot(s).
  3. Chop the chili (and wash your hands very, very well before touching your eyes).
  4. Combine all ingredients immediately before serving, and adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with cilantro if you’re feeling fancy.

And here’s what to do with the rind:

An alternate use for pomelo


3 Responses to “Thai-style Pomelo Salad”

  1. Nate @ House of Annie August 25, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Whoa, that pomelo has a pretty big rind! I prefer the ones with thinner rinds.

    But I like what you did with yours! 😀

    • rgautz August 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

      It’s an Ipoh pomelo, so maybe that makes a difference? It was very sweet and juicy (for a pomelo). I used the dressing before in a chicken, cucumber, and rice noodle salad, too.


  1. Shanghai-ed « Straight Out of Kampung - August 18, 2011

    […] a New Thing, and 2) fruit-based. This is actually a dessert soup of sorts, with bits of mango and pomelo and tiny sago pearls (like tapioca, but smaller). I don’t know if ending with a sweet is a […]

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