Vietnamese Pomelo Salad
Goi Buoi Tom Thit
Yields: 2 as a main dish, 4 to 6 as a side dish
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounces (240 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 ounces (120 g) boneless skinless chicken breast or boneless pork chop
- 1 medium pomelo, or 1/2 large pomelo
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into fine shreds
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, leafy tops only
- 1/4 cup chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons Crispy Caramelized Shallot (hanh phi, optional)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped and mashed, or put through a press
- 1 red Thai chile or 1/2 Fresno chile, chopped
1. Put the salt in a small saucepan and fill 2/3 with water. Bring to a boil and then add the shrimp. As soon as they've curled up, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
2. Return the water to a boil and add the chicken or pork chop. When bubbles form at the rim, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes to cook the flesh. Remove and set aside to cool. (If you're using the Vietnamese sausage, skip this step because it's already cooked.)
3. Cut the shrimp in the diagonal into large pieces that will blend well with the pomelo and other ingredients. Hand shred the chicken or cut the pork into julienne. Set aside.
4. If the pomelo is big, halve it lengthwise and save one half for another day. Cut off the ends of the pomelo, then cut off the skin and pith to reveal the pinkish flesh underneath. Pry the pomelo open and split into two parts. Use your fingers and as needed, 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.
5. For the dressing, combine fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar, garlic and chile in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
6. Right before serving, add the shrimp, chicken (or pork), carrot, mint, cilantro, peanuts and fried shallot to the pomelo. Toss with your fingers or tongs to combine well. Add the dressing and toss. Taste and adjust the flavors, as needed. Transfer to a plate or shallow bowl, leaving any liquid behind and serve.