I’ll be honest and tell you that I had never heard of pomelo salad until living in Hong Kong. I think I knew what a pomelo was, but I never knew that it was the star ingredient of a popular Thai salad! I guess that just goes to show that moving from California really broadened my food horizons!
If you don’t know what a pomelo is, it’s this green beauty pictured here…it kind of resembles a gigantic lime! I dare you to try and squeeze the juice out of one of these with one hand…
For all I know, the pomelo probably IS a distant cousin to the lime…although I think it has some similarities to a grapefruit, too.
Anyway, before you can get to the juicy bits you want for this salad, you obviously have to get through that outer skin. The pomelo skin is thick…significantly thicker than the skin on a lime! Once you peel all of that away along with the pith, you get to the fruit with its big segments. It looks like you can just peel off a wedge and start eating it! However, the membrane surrounding each segment is rather thick and tough, so eating it probably isn’t wise. Similarly, you don’t eat the membrane in grapefruit either.
And what do you do if the membranes are too tough to eat? You remove them, of course! Peel away the membranes and remove the seeds and you are left with juicy supremes.
Did you know that’s what those juicy wedges are called? Supremes! I just learned this interesting fact myself, and it makes perfect sense, don’t you think? When you remove all the unnecessary stuff, the juicy wedges (which is what you really want anyway) are SUPREME! 🙂 In fact, the whole process of removing the membranes and seeds is called supreming.
See? You learn something new everyday!
Once you have all the supremes, you can then make this beautiful and refreshing pomelo salad!
Pomelo salad is tasty, light, and refreshing. Unlike grapefruit, pomelo isn’t as tart or sour. It’s not sweet like an orange, but it has a combination of a little sweet and a little sour that all works together well. Obviously, adding pomelo to a salad automatically propels it to No Boring Salad status, which is what we want!
You have some healthy greens, and then substance and protein from the shrimp. Next, there’s crunch from the peanuts, and of course, the juicy pomelo wedges. Alternatively, if you don’t like shrimp, feel free to use chicken! Don’t forget the savory-sweet-tangy dressing to bring it all together along with some spice (if desired). Additionally, toss in some avocado chunks, or top it with fried shallots to add more flavor and texture to an already fabulous salad. In other words, you can customize this salad to what you like!
Pomelo salad is one of my favorite salads, especially for lunch. I love biting into the combo of juicy pomelo wedges and shrimp…it is so satisfyingly good! Bring a taste of Thailand to your table and try making this pomelo salad!
Shrimp Pomelo Salad
- 1 fresh pomelo chilled
- 1/2 lb. (225g) chilled shrimp
- 1 medium head romaine heart lettuce chopped
- 2-3 tbs chopped peanuts
- chopped green onion
- Crispy fried shallots (optional)
- Juice from one lime
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- Dried chili flakes to taste (optional)
How to peel the pomelo:
Cut off one end of the pomelo (either the stem end or opposite side). Using a sharp knife, score around the outside of the pomelo, going about 1/2" deep into the peel.
Use your fingers to pry the rind off the pomelo, peeling off the pith as you go (removing the pith will make it easier to separate the segments).
Pull the pomelo apart into two halves.
Separate pomelo segments and peel off membrane and remove seeds. Break the segments into bite-sized pieces. If not eating right away, refrigerate until ready to use.
Combine dressing ingredients and set aside.
In small saucepan, heat 2 tbs light olive oil over medium heat. Add thinly sliced shallots and fry until golden and crispy. Transfer to paper towel to soak up the oil and to cool. (Optional)
Gently combine romaine lettuce and pomelo segments.
Top with chilled shrimp.
Garnish with chopped peanuts, green onions, and fried shallots (if desired).
Drizzle dressing over salad and gently toss when serving.
In Your Kitchen:Customize this pomelo salad with other topping options like avocado, chicken, thinly sliced cucumber, or shredded carrots. Substitute the romaine lettuce with shredded cabbage, or skip the greens altogether and just enjoy the pomelo! Don't like shrimp? Substitute it with chicken. No peanuts? Try sliced almonds or chopped cashews. Try adding chopped fruit like apples or pears!