Pomelos are big grapefruitlike fruits that are now becoming more available in North America. They’re about twice the size of a grapefruit and have a very thick skin. The fruit ranges from quite sour to pleasantly sweet. If you can’t find a pomelo, use a grapefruit. Because grapefruits are far juicier than pomelos, you’ll need to pour off any excess juice, otherwise the salad will be soggy. Be sure to adjust the seasonings to taste, as both pomelos and grapefruits have that wild range between sour and sweet.–Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
LC Seasonal Affective Disorder Note
We have our own sort of seasonal affective disorder, and it haunts us—okay, mostly just Renee—not just in winter but six months later. Here’s the conundrum: Grapefruit are not exactly at their utmost come the dog days of summer. Yet that’s exactly when we find ourselves most wanting to luxuriate in their spectacular tartness. So we make do with lackluster specimens just for that shivery chill we get. And so we stumbled—happily—upon this little recipe, which allows us to exult in the citrus’s in-season exuberance come winter, yet also sorta glosses over any slight imperfections come the fairer season. There. We feel like Lucy in Peanuts with her “Psychiatric Help 5¢” stand. If only every clinical mood disorder was so easy to address.
Pomelo Salad Recipe
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes | Serves 4
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar (or substitute light brown sugar)
- 1 pomelo or 1 to 2 large grapefruit(s), any color or type (about 1 1/4 pounds total)
- 2 tablespoons grated coconut, toasted
- 2 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- Handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped or thinly sliced, or more to taste
- 2 to 3 bird chiles, finely chopped (or substitute serranos)
- Bibb lettuce leaves, washed and dried (optional)
- 1. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, stirring vigorously to completely dissolve the sugar.
- 2. Peel the pomelo or grapefruit and separate it into segments. Working over a bowl and using a small sharp knife, cut off the inside “seam” of each segment and then run your thumb between the membrane and the fruit to free it, letting any juice drip into the bowl rather than down your elbow. Place the fruit in the bowl and discard the membrane.
- 3. Pour off any juice that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl and reserve for another use. Add the coconut, peanuts, shallots, mint, and chiles to the segments and mix well. Pour the lime dressing over the mixture and mix well. Taste and, if you wish, adjust the balance of salt, sour, and sweet (that is to say, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar). Serve immediately, on a bed of Bibb lettuce if desired.
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Pomelo Salad Recipe © 2005 Jeffrey Alford | Naomi Duguid. Photo © 2005 Richard Jung. All rights reserved.