The famous Thai Pomelo Salad

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The pomelo is the biggest of the citrus fruits and originates from South and South East Asia. The pomelo is green and turns yellow when ripe. It tastes sweet and slightly bitter, you can situate the flavour somewhere between an orange and a grapefruit.
This is my version of this famous Thai salad. My recipe was published in Dutch, in “Enjoy Beauty”, a Belgian lifestyle magazine. This is the English translation.


Serves 2-3, for lunch, serves 6 as a side dish.

What do you need?

For the salad:
• 1 medium sized pomelo (alternatively use 1 grapefruit and 1 orange)
• 400 gram small raw prawns
• 3 spring onions
• ½ cup of freshly chopped coriander (or basil)
• ½ red capsicum
• 1 small cucumber
• 2 tbsp. freshly chopped mint leafs
• 4 tbsp. dried and shredded coconut (without added sugar)
• 4 tbsp. chopped salted and roasted cashew nuts (or peanuts)
• 1 red hot chilli pepper (optional)

For the vinaigrette:
• 1 tbsp. of soy sauce
• 2 tbsp. of hot & sweet chili sauce
• 2 tbsp. of fish sauce
• 5 tbsp. of fresh juice of limes
• 1 ½ tsp. of white sugar
• 1 pinch of pepper of Cayenne


Bring water to a boil for the prawns.

If frozen, defrost the prawns in warm water and drain on a paper kitchen cloth.
Cook the prawns following the instructions on the package. Alternatively boil them a couple of minutes (depending on the size of the prawns) until they are pink. Flush with cold water and drain. Cool in the fridge.

Continue with the pomelo.

It looks like a fiddly job to do, but so worth it!

Take a sharp pairing knife and make incisions of 1 cm deep, as if you would cut the pomelo into 4 parts. Remove the peel carefully, that it can be re-used to serve the salad in, later on.

A pomelo has lots of unpleasant white skin inside. It is important to open up every part en get the pulp out. Discard all the white skin.
In a salad bowl, massage the pulp of the pomelo, so that all the little segments separate. This is an important step for the distribution of the flavour of the pomelo with the other ingredients.

Chop the spring onion finely.

Peel the cucumber.
Remove the seeds of both the cucumber and capsicum.
Cut both into cubes of about ½ cm.

In a hot pan, roast the coconut shred until golden.
Take away from the heat and cool on a plate.

Chop the cashew nuts coarsely.
Chop the coriander and mint finely.

Combine all of the above ingredients in a big salad bowl. Toss until all ingredients are nicely spread.

Cool in the fridge for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, make the vinaigrette.

Take a glass jar with lid. Add all the ingredients and give it a good shake.

If you make the salad in advance, keep the vinaigrette on the side.

Just before serving, sprinkle the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss.

Spread the salad over the 4 peels of pomelo and press gently.

Serve immediately.


© Magali Schockaert and, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Magali Schockaert and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Categories: Mains, Recipes, Sides & SaladsTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Looks beautiful and delicious Magali. I will have to give one a go! We don’t get pomelo’s in New Zealand, but I will try it with grapefruit.

  2. I am looking forward to cook this with these beautiful marquesan pamplemousses! Beautiful picture too…

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