Vietnamese pomelo salad

This salad is the perfect combination of sweet, sour, spicy, savory.  I had it during my first trip to Vietnam – it’s perfect for a hot summer day.  If you cannot get pomelos (they’re amazing!), you can substitute grapefruit.  Adapted from Vietworldkitchen.



  • 8 ounces (240 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 ounces (120 g) boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pomelo
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 c mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 T cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 3-4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • oil for frying


  • 8 T fish sauce
  • 6 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 T water
  • 6 T sugar
  • 3 small cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1 red Thai chile, de-seeded and chopped


  1. Heat 1-2 T oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat.  Cook shallots, stirring frequently, until they are crispy and brown.  Place shallots on a plate that is covered in paper towel to drain the oil, and let cool.
  2. Fill a saucepan 2/3 with water and bring to a boil.  Add shrimp, and as soon as they are curled and no longer translucent, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
  3.  In the same water/saucepan, add chicken, and once bubbles form on the rim, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. (Alternatively, cook the chicken with an instant read thermometer until the inside temperature reads 165F).
  4. Prepare the pomelo by cutting off the ends, then cutting off the skin and pith to reveal the pinkish flesh underneath.
  5. Pry the pomelo open and split into two parts. Use your fingers (or a knife and scissors) to peel away the flesh from the skin. Work segment by segment, and separate the flesh into bite-size pieces. Deposit the flesh in a bowl as you work.
  6. Hand shred the chicken  into julienne. Set aside.
  7. To make the dressing, combine fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar, garlic and chile in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
  8. Right before serving, combine the shrimp, chicken, carrot, mint, cilantro, peanuts, fried shallot, pomelo, and dressing, and toss to combine.

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