Meet Pomelo - The largest citrus fruit in the world

pomelo citrus fruit from tambun ipoh perak malaysia

Related to grapefruit, pomelo is the fatter, yet subtle and sweeter, cousin. The cousin you like. The one that doesn’t leave you with that lingering feeling of bitterness in your mouth.

what does pomelo look like and taste like?

Pomelos 柚子 are an essential offering during Mooncake Festival (a Chinese festival), and even though it ended a few weeks ago, the gigantic fruits are still in abundant supply at the morning markets in Penang. They are trucked in every morning from a place called Tambun, a small town in the state of Perak (100km from Penang), which is famous for its pomelo plantations.

Picking one up at the market and weighing it in my hand is always a reminder of the decision I need to make – put it back to save my fingers from the piercing pain of lugging the fruit back, or toughen up and enjoy it for breakfast at home. But then I consider it’s big enough to last a few breakfasts - and pomelo season doesn’t last forever - so I hand the auntie RM6, grimace, and reassure myself that I can skip the gym today.

Vietnamese pomelo salad recipe with shrimp

Pomelo is terrific in salads, like you will find in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. And every day in my kitchen during pomelo season!

what is pomelo?

Juicy pulps of pomelo, crisp green apple, and crunchy bites of carrot, mixed with sliced shallots, dressed with a little bit of fiery chili lime dressing topped with lightly toasted sesame seeds, and balanced with garlicky shrimp for a salad I wish I could eat year-round.

This vibrant Southeast Asian salad is light…and filling.  How is that possible?

Goi Buoi Tom Vietnamese pomelo salad with shrimp

Pomelo salad with shrimp by Season with Spice
Serves 3-4

Half a pomelo, peeled and segmented
8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, diced
Half a green apple, cut into thin matchsticks
Half a carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
2 shallots, sliced
A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds

1/2 tablespoon of Coconut Palm Sugar
Juice from 1 lime (or more, adjust accordingly)
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
A pinch of Season with Spice's bird's eye chili powder or Smoked Serrano Chili Powder

1. Gently break up the pomelo segments into 1/2 inch chunks (or smaller) and put them in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine pomelo, carrots, coriander, and shallots.

2. Heat oil in a skillet or wok. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add shrimp and fry until they are cooked or slightly charred on the side. Remove shrimp and garlic, and place on paper towel to drain any excess oil.

3. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice, bird's eye chili powder or smoked serrano chili powder, water and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

4. Add the dressing to the salad. And right before serving, add the garlic and shrimp, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

pomelo salad recipe