thai pomelo salad (泰式柚子沙律)
Individual portion of Pomelo Salad served
During my stay in Hong Kong, I would not need to cook at all, either ate out or if at home, my mom did most of the cooking, I would be her sous-chef , trying to learn more tips and tricks from her at the same time.
I did miss cooking when I was there, so on my last day there, I offered to make a Thai Pomelo Salad. Pomelo is a seasonal and as well as a festive fruit for Mid-Autumn Festival. I saw them everywhere and thought this fruit would not be so easily accessible in Switzerland. To my surprise, I was wrong, pink pomelos are also available in Basel, so I promised Peter that I would make this salad again for him soon.
To make this salad, it is not difficult at all but it’s tedious work to peel the whole pomelo. It took me one and a half hour to do it. I was aware of that so I peeled that in the early morning, so I could still go out for a few hours and the rest of the preparation was done before dinner.
- 1 pomelo, peeled
- 20-15 medium sized prawns
- 2 shallot, thinly sliced and separate into rings or use the ready made fried shallots from Asian market
- 2 Thai red chilis, thinly sliced (discard some of the seeds if it may be too spicy for you)
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (if you can find the fish sauce for spring rolls, see pic below, that is even better, use 2 tbsp to subsitute the normal fish sauce and less brown sugar will be needed)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted and unsalted peanuts, crushed with pestle and mortar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- juice from 1 fresh lime
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped or crushed
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon fine brown sugar
- Separate the pomelos into sections, then peel each one. Break up the sections into pearls and transfer to a large bowl.
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the shallot rings and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Step 1 and 2 can be prepared hours in advance.
- In a pan, boil some water and boil the prawns. When cooked, removed the heads, shells*, cut the prawns into halves and devein them. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing the fish sauce, sugar, chili, seseame oil, lime and garlic, taste to adjust to your personal taste, add more sugar if desired.
- In another bowl, combine the pomelo pearls with coriander, mint, shallots.
- Toss in the salad dressing and lay the prawns on top. Finish off by sprinkling the sesame seeds and crushed peanuts on top.
- Serve immediately as an appetizer or with other dishes such as curries.
- You can use the prawns shells and heads to prepare a broth and save for other use.
- Do you know there is an old fashioned chinese dish which uses the pomelo skin? It used to be one of my dad’s favorite dish, it is cooked a long time with water and needs to use a lot of oil to cook it and served with a shrimp roe topping.