Pomelo makes its way to this part of the world once a year around this time and the first thing I do when I bring it home is devour at least half and then proceed to make this simple pomelo oriental salad with the other half. I was first introduced to this sensational fruit some years ago at a cooking demonstration led by a Vietnamese lady who made a delicious spicy pomelo and prawn salad. I have since learned that pomelo is native to southeastern Asia and is a staple fruit in Vietnamese cuisine.
Pomelo is a citrus fruit similar to grapefruit only sweeter, tastier and bigger. The pulp holds its shape quite well which makes it a great ingredient to add to salads for example. Pomelo is not as acidic as grapefruit, which means it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients so you could use a lot of it in one dish. It is sweet and citrusy, with a moderate amount of acidity. Its rind is quite thick, but soft and spongy so it peels away easily. Start peeling by cutting off the slightly more pointy end of the pomelo and then score the skin. Remove the membranes inside as well as they are very tough and bitter (this is also easy to do) and only use the pulp.
This simple pomelo oriental salad has a bit of gingery sharpness to it but you can make it as spicy as you like by adding some chilli or cayenne pepper. As today happens to be National Peanut Day I thought I’d add some roasted peanuts to give this salad a bit of crunch.
If you decide to make this salad I’d love to know your thoughts, so please get in touch. A note about pomelo: when you are buying pomelos pick the heaviest fruit to make sure it is very juicy. Get this lovely fruit before it disappears for another year!
Yields 4 portions
20 minPrep Time
20 minTotal Time
- 1/2 pomelo, peeled and crumbled
- 70 g bean thread vermicelli
- 1/2 zuccini, chopped into short sticks
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup peanuts, dry roasted and lightly crushed
- 3-4 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper (try cayenne) to taste
- For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used cold pressed rapeseed)
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- Soak the vermicelli in hot water, rinse and drain as per packaging instructions. You could chop the vermicelli a little if you don't want it too long (it's easier to mix with the other ingredients when it's shorter). Set aside.
- Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Make the dressing and pour over the salad. Stir well and serve.