Thai Grapefruit Salad

From the cookbook: Night + Market: Delicious Thai Food to Facilitate Drinking and Fun-Having Amongst Friends

We had dinner at a friend’s and she made us a Pomelo Yum Som-o (Pomelo Salad) as an appetizer and we loved it. We got the same cookbook and tried to recreate it. It turned out different than we expected (hers had more greens in it and ours had more fruit), but it was still really good.

Disclaimer: This original recipe has been altered to accommodate what we had in our kitchen and adjusted to our taste.




  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh bird’s eye chilies
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • Vegetable oil
  • Optional: fried shallots to sprinkle on top
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp
  • 2 large grapefruits
  • 3.4 cup roughly chopped cilantro with stems
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup cup seasoned fried peanuts*
    • 2 cups raw peanut, skin on
    • 12 kaffir lime leaves
    • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemongrass
    • 8 small dried chilies
    • vegetable oil for frying

Putting it together

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Whisk in the chilies, garlic, lime juice, and fish sauce. Taste and season with more sugar, lime juice, or fish sauce and salt if needed.
  2. In a wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and dried shrimp until the shallot is golden brown and crisp (about 3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels and season with salt if wanted.
  3. Peel the grapefruit and cut them into pieces. Put them in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, shallots & dried shrimp, peanuts*, dressing and mix them together. Serve in individual dishes and add the mint leaves and fried onions.


  1. Pour enough oil in a wok or deep saucepan enough to cover a layer of peanuts. Heat over medium high, add the peanuts and fry for about a minute until they’re golden brown. Drain the oil on a paper towel and keep the peanuts from touching each other so they stay crisp.
  2. Repeat the frying process in the same oil with the lime leaves, lemongrass and chilies for about a minute. Drain on paper towels. Transfer peanuts to an airtight container and crush the fried aromatics on top.


I’m not a huge salad person, but I love this salad. It’s so refreshing from the fruit and so flavorful from the dressing. I love the tang and the kick from the combination of the fish sauce, lime and chilies. I also loved the crunchy texture from the peanuts and the fried onions. It has amazing Thai flavors of sweet, salty, spicy and fishy. Who knew that grapefruit and fish sauce went together?

Overall, if you like bold Thai flavors (which I do) with a refreshing twist, I would totally recommend this salad. It’s also perfect for summer since the grapefruit is so refreshing. I can’t wait to make another one!


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