With every bite the flesh of the pomelo breaks; it bursts into sweet and slighty bitter juice and mingles together with the spicy fish sauce and the fragrant, warm, chewy rice for the perfect balance in texture and flavour.
Thai pomelo salad with warm sticky rice: Match Made in Heaven!

Thai pomelo salad with dried shrimps in spicy fish sauce, thai chili, palm sugar and lime juice. Serve with fragrant, hot sticky rice.

Spicy Thai pomelo salad with warm sticky rice

Old guests of our former restaurant and visitors of this blog will have noticed: I’m not a meat and fish eater fanatic, the menu is mainly vegetarian. Vegetables (fresh or fermented) is the main part of my menu. Cooked. W.A.R.M.

A cold salad? Uh, no, that wasn’t my thing. Must be my old-fashioned and rustic Cantonese food education. My family doesn’t eat raw, cold vegetables, fish or other cold dishes. Far too fancy! When I was little, I didn’t know any better then that most desserts are hot.

But with Thai and Vietnamese cooks in the kitchen I had to make an exception for cold dishes on the menu. Mild Vietnamese summer rolls and spicy Thai salads are so addictive!

Here is my favourite: spicy Thai pomelo salad. And it’s even better when served with HOT sticky rice!

Make deep scores in the pomelo rind and tear the skin of the fruit.

Make deep scores in the pomelo skin and tear the skin of the fruit.

Cut the tough part of the membrane if needed. Be carefully not to cut into the flesh.

How to peel and segment the pomelo

This large citrus fruit is widely available nowadays. I often see them in the supermarket. The taste is sweet and sour with a slight bitterness. The flesh is juicy but not as wet as a grapefruit.

For the Thai pomelo salad you need small even fragments of the flesh without the membranes. They are bitter and a bit tough. Pull the pomelo into pieces and cut the flesh as little as possible. The juice of the pomelo should only be released in your mouth.

The pomelo has a thick skin. First cut deep into the skin a few times to divide the skin. Then you can easily peel the skin from the fruit.

Divide the pomelo into segments. Cut away the narrow, hard edge of each part. Now you can pull out the flesh fairly easily.

For the perfect juicy and spicy Thai pomelo salad you need to pull the pomelo flesh out of the membranes with your hand.

Thai salad: contrast in flavour and texture

This salad is all about contrasts: raw yardlong beans, juicy tomatoes, crunchy peanuts, chewy dried shrimps and roasted sweet and salty shredded coconut, together with the juicy pomelo.

This tumultuous marriage of seemingly incompatible ingredients is complemented by the passionate flavours of the dressing: soothing sweet palm sugar and tart fresh lime juice together with salty and umami-rich fish sauce and spicy Thai peppers.

Every bite screams for more!

Ingredients for the Thai pomelo salad: longyard bean, tomatoes, dried shrimps, palm sugar, cilantro, lime, chili and fish sauce.

Making Thai dressing with mortar and pestle. Ingredients for the dressing: yellow palm sugar, lime, garlic and chili.

Big pomelo with green yellow skin and a bottle of fish sauce

The perfect partner: steamed Thai white sticky rice

The sharp and and passionate flavours of the pomelo salad pair perfectly with the soft, fragrant sticky rice.

I promise you a Match Made in Heaven.

Feel and taste this:

The cold, sweet and sour and slightly bitter pomelo juice is released in your mouth. Crunchy peanut, fresh coriander, salty chewy shrimps and the painfully delicious spiciness meet the hot, soft and fluffy sticky rice. The fragrance of the Thai sticky rice has mixed with the fragrance of the moist bamboo basket. Each time you chew, your mouth discovers a new texture… another flavour… You want another bite, don’t you?


Sometimes I wish I still had my restaurant; cooking for guests is so much easier than trying to convince people to cook for themselves via this internet universe.

What I miss most:  “Compliments to the chef!”

Thai pomelo salad with dried shrimps in spicy fish sauce, thai chili, palm sugar and lime juice. Serve with fragrant, hot sticky rice.


Thai pomelo salad with hot sticky rice

Thaise pomelo salade met gedroogde garnaaltjes in pittige dressing van ziltige vissaus, Thaise pepertjes, palmsuiker en limoen. Eet deze salade met gestoomde witte kleefrijst. 

With every bite the flesh of the pomelo breaks; it bursts into sweet and slighty bitter juice and mingles with the spicy fish sauce, the fragrant and warm chewy rice for the perfect balance in texture and flavour.
Thai pomelo salad with warm sticky rice: Match Made in Heaven!

  • Author: Kamwoj
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min (sticky rice as well)
  • Total Time: 60 min
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main/ Side/ Fish
  • Method: Salad, Steam
  • Cuisine: Thai



  • 1 pomelo
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut 1
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 60 g yardlong beans 2
  • 23 tbsp dried shrimps 3
  • 200 g small sweet tomatoes, halved
  • Handful of coriander leaves and/or Thai basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Crispy onions and garlic, home-baked or from the shop


  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more red Thai chillies
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 50 g/ 1 piece of light palm sugar 4, cut in little pieces (amount depending on how sweet the pomelo is)
  • 1 lime, only the juice (amount depends on how tart the pomelo is)

Extra supplies:

  • Mortar with pestle
  • Large bowl or plate to serve the salad in


If you want to eat this salad with sticky rice, you have to soak the rice a few hours in advance. See this blog post.

Sticky rice: Steam the Thai sticky rice. Meanwhile, make the pomelo salad.

Pomelo: Make a few deep cuts in the skin. Start with a circle around the top. Cut a few times from bottom to top. Peel the pomelo. Divide the pomelo into parts. Cut away the hard edge and pull out the flesh. Pick the flesh by hand in roughly uniform pieces. Set aside.

Salty shredded coconut: Toast the coconut, salt and sugar in a dry pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes until it turns brown. Set aside.

Peanut: slightly crush the peanuts. Remove them from the mortar and set aside.

Yardlong beans: Wash the beans well. Cut away the ends. Cut the beans into pieces of about 3 cm. Crush them in the mortar. Crushing provides a better dressing absorption.

Dried shrimps: Rinse in water and dry them very well. Crush them in the mortar. You can also grind them in a blender. Be careful not to grind them into a powder. You will miss the chewy texture in the salad and the salty umami flavour will be ‘diluted’ in the salad.

Dressing: Pound garlic, Thai chilli pepper, sugar in the mortar into a paste. Add fish sauce and lime juice in portions. Taste a little bit of the vinaigrette together with a piece of pomelo. Adjust the vinaigrette to taste.

Serve: Mix all the ingredients for the salad. Spoon in half the sauce. Stir and taste. Maybe you need less sauce than you made. Serve the salad in a large bowl or on a plate with the warm sticky rice.


1 Salty shredded coconut: Make more salty coconut to add to the sticky rice.
2 Yardlong beans: You can replace them with thinly cut string beans.
3 Dried shrimps: buy them in an Asian grocery store
4 Palm sugar: substitute with white or light brown sugar

Keywords: Thai, pomelo, salad, spicy, dried shrjmps, sticky rice. oil free, healthy

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