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Pomelo Prawn Salad, the easy Thai salad

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March 1, 2012

Pomelo Prawn Salad, the easy Thai salad

Is it March already?
It must be spring then...

Living currently in a tropical land of SE Asia, I often loss the sense of seasonal changes.

Spring is my favorite season. 
I miss seeing green buds blossoming on the trees, daffodils and tulips popping out of garden, and people gathering around Home Depot to look for pretty flowers to plant on their yards. I was one of them.

But I enjoy living in tropical land these days. It does offer good culinary adventures.., a big time!
... Loads of tropical fruits and veges, awesome beaches, can't complain much.

I made "Pomelo Prawn Salad" the other day. It is one of the famous Thai salads.
It is quite simple to make and very refreshing to the taste; a perfect dish for drowsy days of spring!

Pomelo is the largest citrous fruit living on our planet. It tastes like grapefruit without much bitterness.
It's sometimes hard to find Pomelo outside of Asia, though.
If you can't find it, substitute with the grapefruit; make sure you drain the juice (drink it!) that leaks a lot when you cut into segments, so the salad doesn't get too wet.
Also you need to up the amount of sugar since grapefruit is more bitter than Pomelo.


1 large Pomelo
11 oz (300g) raw medium prawns or shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
3 Asian shallots, thinly sliced
4-5 bird's eye chilies, bruised
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 oz mint leaves
1/2 oz cilantro leaves
4 tablespoon shredded fresh coconut or desiccated coconut, toasted
3 tablespoon chopped peanuts, toasted
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoon lime juice
2 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar

Here I have some grated fresh coconut. Use the desiccated coconut if you can't find the fresh one.

Toast the coconuts until lightly golden brown over low heat.

Toast chopped peanuts, too. Let them cool down.

To peel the pomelo, slice off the top of the fruit, then score 4 or 6 lines from top to bottom.
Peel away the fibrous skin of Pomelo one section at a time.

Take the chunks of pulp out of each segments.

Collect the pulps in a bowl. Set aside
Poach shrimps in gentle simmering water, about 30 seconds the most. Set aside.

Slice shallots and mince a clove of garlic, too.

Smack the Thai red chilies with back of your knife to bruise them.
You don't eat them but they will give some heat in the salad.

Here is beautiful mint. Tear some.
You will also need some cilantro as well.

 Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Time to make some dressing to toss together with.

Do you know what this is?
It is fresh palm sugar. I got it from a street market in Thailand. Costed about US $0.75 for a small bag!
I can eat the spoonful like this; tastes like caramel.
You can get the dried palm sugar in some Asian groceries. If you can't find neither fresh or dried, use brown sugar instead.

Mix fish sauce, lime juice, and the sugar.

 Drizzle over your salad.

 Toss well. Sprinkle the toasted peanuts on top when serving.

 Refreshingly delicious...

 With this salad,
 I am so ready for spring.

...better start the major spring cleaning this weekend.

Need a printable recipe? Click here.

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At March 1, 2012 at 8:07 AM , Anonymous lily hye soo said...

ooo that looks so refreshing and good. I wonder where you could find pomelos in the states? 

At March 1, 2012 at 10:28 AM , Anonymous MS BC said...

Definitely looks like a spring salad :)
what can you replace with pomelo if you can't find it?

At March 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...


At March 1, 2012 at 3:25 PM , Anonymous Anna-Maria Fiedler said...

The colors on your photos are stunning. Really great food pictures!
You are right spring has just arrived here and I am yearning for light meals with lots of fresh herbs. You pomelo salad is just perfect. It makes me miss Thailand so much. I will definitely try a shrimp-free Vegetarian version soon.

At March 1, 2012 at 6:19 PM , Anonymous Addy DelaMorte said...

That looks amazing.  And I knew there had to be a way to peel Pomelo's.  We let our Girl Scouts try one at a meeting, but we didn't know you could or had to peel them, we just sliced it. :p  It's a delicious fruit though.

At March 1, 2012 at 7:42 PM , Anonymous Mel said...

This looks so delicious! I really enjoy reading your blog. I used your bulgogi recipe and it turned out great. It was just what I needed, being far away from my 어머니 and feeling homesick. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

At March 1, 2012 at 8:00 PM , Anonymous Hyosun Ro said...

What a beautiful salad! So much wonderful flavors...

At March 1, 2012 at 10:34 PM , Anonymous Fad said...

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At March 2, 2012 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous wildbutterfly26 said...

i wonder if honey would do the trick instead of the the brown/palm sugar?

At March 2, 2012 at 10:25 PM , Anonymous beyondkimchee said...

I don't see why not.

At March 3, 2012 at 6:30 AM , Anonymous Patricia said...

Looks delicious!

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At March 3, 2012 at 2:49 PM , Anonymous Dmarie said...

oh, my, that looks delish. congrats on being named a Blog of Note! look forward to seeing more of your site.

At March 4, 2012 at 7:55 AM , Anonymous Liz Chewy said...

I just found your blog and I love it!! This salad looks so delicious and I can't wait to try out some of your recipes.

I recently moved to SE Asia too. I am missing the seasons but the food is really quite amazing.xoxo

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At March 19, 2012 at 8:32 PM , Anonymous chang long said...

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