This is another recipe, inspired by my recent trip to Thailand. While I was in Bangkok, I would eat pomelo salad whenever I had the chance. The best pomelo salad in my opinion, was served at Soul Food Mahanakorn, a super cute restaurant in the trendy Soi Thonglor area. The dressing of the salad was so rich and the texture simply amazing.
For those that don’t know Pomelo, I would describe it as a “giant grapefruit” 😉 It also tastes really similar to a grapefruit, just its texture is coarser and it is sweeter and less acidic than grapefruit. Moreover, I would also consider it a superfood or superfruit, because pomelo is really high in vitamin C. In addition to their high vitamin C, they are also a good source of fiber, iron, and protein. Another benefit of consuming pomelos is their low calorie content. If you’re trying to lose weight, pomelos make a great addition to your diet. One serving of pomelo (about 1 cup) contains only 72 calories and more than doubles the daily requirement of vitamin C for someone following a diet of 2,000 calories a day. As mentioned, I ate the salad in a bunch of restaurants – in case you are interested in more tips for restaurants in Bangkok, just scroll to the end of the post, I wrote them down there – really amazing places! Please check them out if you get a chance to visit Bangkok one day 😉
But now, back to today’s dish: it is adapted simplified from the authentic recipe and contains following Superfoods:
- 1/2 – 1 pomelo (depends on size, you should get about 2 – 3 cups of fruit) or 2 pink grapefruits (in case you can’t find the pomelo where you live, they make a good substitution)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin stripes
- 1/2 – 1 finely chopped shallot or purple onion (depending on the size, you should get about 2 -3 tbsp)
- 1/2 handful chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
- 4 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (tip: buy whole flakes and shred them yourself in a blender, so the pieces are uneven and bigger)
- 1 red chili, minced (optional, I didn’t add any, as – despite being half Thai – I can’t eat spicy at all! )
For the dressing:
- 1 lime, fresh squeezed juice
- 1 – 2 tbsp palm sugar (a healthy sweetener!)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp fish sauce (for non-vegans – vegans just add a bit more of soy sauce or salt to taste)
- A pinch of chili flakes (optional)
- Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat and stir until coconut turns light golden brown and fragrant, put into a small bowl to cool and set aside (your kitchen will smell heavenly from this!) –> must-have and secret ingredient for this dish!
- Prepare your pomelo or grapefruit, removing as much of the white peel as possible from the fruit (for preparation tips, see this link for How to Buy & Prepare Pomelo
- Break the fruit into bite-size pieces and put into a salad bowl
- Add the other salad ingredients to the bowl, the thinly sliced red pepper, chopped cilantro, and fresh chili (in case your are adding chili)
- Combine all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, stir well to dissolve the sugar
- Add the dressing to the salad, mix well to combine, add about half of the roasted coconut, keep the rest on the side to sprinkle over the salad later
- Adjust the taste to your liking, more sugar can be added if too sour, or more lime juice if too sweet (in case you are using grapefuit, you’ll likely have to add a little more sugar, as pomelo is naturally sweeter than grapefruit). For more depth of flavor, add a little more fish sauce (although I do not like fish sauce too much, it gives the salad the touch of authenticity and rounded taste when added, and you won’t taste it actually)
- Decorate with some whole cilantro leaves before serving – enjoy!!
- Tip: this is a vegetarian version (well, not counting the fish sauce), if you want to add some protein, I recommend some cooked shrimps with it – this is how it is served most of the time in Thailand
This salad was honestly sooo good! I ate it in no-time, so happy to be able to make my favorite dish at home now as well!
And here the restaurant tips for Bangkok (highly recommended!):
- Karmakamet Diner: the most beautiful restaurant I have seen in my life! Very charming decor, beautiful set-up, great and fresh menu, Western-Thai fusion – check out this blogpost from vanillawalk for some pictures of the place
- Eatme: beautiful restaurant, great Western food, some Thai fusion elements, a bit pricey – try to sit outside on the top floor veranda, really nice atmosphere
- Opus Wine Bar: fantastic Italian restaurant with a great wine selection
- Maggie Choo’s: awesome place! It’s really an experience to have a drink there (the interior design and “living” statues are really a must-see) – also try their comforting wonton and rice soups before you head for a drink (the tiny restaurant is at the entrance before you enter the bar)
- Spice market at the Four Seasons hotel: delicious Thai food (especially the curries!) – although a bit touristy, it’s super authentic and the restaurant is very cozy and beautifully decorated
- Erawan Tearoom at the Grand Hyatt Hotel: very beautiful decor as well, has great tea time and Thai and Fusion food
- Nara: there are several outlets in the city, good Thai food, reasonable prices
- Soulfood Mahanakorn: set in a beautiful old house, they serve the most flavorful menus, amazing Thai salads – the best I had in Bangkok
Admittedly, these are all rather upscale places. Of course there are tons of other restaurants you can choose from in Bangkok – I rarely had bad food in Bangkok actually. If you dare, try even the street food, explore and enjoy!! 😉
Here some impressions from healthy street foods – loving it!