Pomelo salad contains the fruit of the pomelo, the largest fruit of the citrus family and the predecessor of the grapefruit. Pomelo’s are native to South East Asia. The fruit is less bitter than grapefruit, but the internal fleeces and the seeds need to be removed. Also in China it is now a very familiar fruit; it was introduced to China over 2000 years ago. 

The pomelo salad has a fantastic, refreshing taste pallet. It can be prepared in advance, but best is to bring most of the components together just before serving.

The art of making pomelo salad

Choose fresh vegetables and the fruit must be in season. Cleaning the pomelo, may take some effort: remove all seeds and all fleeces. I prefer to have cooled, fried shalots mixed into the salad, which provides the salad with an authentic Thai edge.  The dressing -like all Asian salad dressings- does not contain any oil, causing the dressing to end up in the bottom of the salad rather quickly. Therefore use a shallow oblong shaped bowl to serve this salad.

Special equipment

  • oblong shaped, shallow serving bowl
  • hand centrifuge to dry the herb leaves comes in handy, but is not absolutely required


Pomelo salad, a Thai treat; ingredients ©️ Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Pomelo salad, a Thai treat

Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Thai
Servings 6


Ingredients for the salad

  • one pomelo
  • a small to medium cucumber
  • 1 red or green pepper
  • 12-16 shrimp
  • 1 red Asian chilli (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup (Thai) basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup diced shalots can substitute by peanuts
  • 1/4 cup unsalted cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or other liquid vegetable oil

Ingredients for the dressing

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or cane sugar could be reduced to 1 tbsp
  • 2 tsp Thai sweet chilli sauce


Instruction to prepare the salad ingredients

  • Peel the pomelo, take off all the white stuff and also take away all the fleeces between the individual pomelo pieces. Keep bite sized pieces
  • Boil the shrimp until the color changes. Remove, cool down and peel
  • Cut the shallot and fry it in a shallow pan in the olive oil. It should brown, but not turn black. Best is to first fry on medium-high, later on low.
  • Clean and dice the cucumber, cut up the red or green pepper
  • Wash and dry the herb leaves
  • Dry roast the cashews and the shredded coconut in a flat iron pan, until they become light brown and fragrant
  • Cut the cilli in small rings if you use them. Removing the seeds make it less spicey

Instruction to make the dressing

  • Squeeze the limes and measure all other ingredients
  • Mix together. Stir so that all sugar finally dissolves

Instruction to bring the salad together

  • Take the shrimps and add the dressing.
  • Mix in the pomelo, the herb leaves, the coconut, the cashews, the red pepper and chilli if using
  • Taste and check the balance of sweet and sour, correcting by using a bit of lime juice or sugar syrup
  • Toss again and serve in a shallow bowl


Method: no heat treatment
Food allergy & intolerance information: soy, nuts, (shell) fish (from the fish sauce or shrimp)
Keyword fish sauce, pomelo, salad



  1. Cleaning the pomelo takes most of your time. This together with frying the shalots can be done hours before enjoying the salad.
  2. If you live in an area where it is difficult to obtain pomelo’s, you may substitute pomelo by pink grapefruits.


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