Pummelo Salad with Coconut & Shrimp

The pummelo, also called pomelo or shaddock, or by its Latin names Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis, is the largest of the Rutaceae family, which includes all the cultivated edible citrus fruits. It can range form 5 to 10 inches in diameter, and weighs 2 to 4 pounds. The pummelo is the grandfather of the grapefruit, if you like. In fact, it is one of the most ancient of the citrus species, one of the original species that resulted in the range of delicious cultivated fruits we know today through the process of hybridization.

The fruit has a thick skin that is sometimes braised and eaten on its own. Inside, the flesh is white or pale pink, with a sweet taste – not the bitterness you might be expecting of the grapefruit’s older relative.

Pummelos are native to South and Southeast Asia, and were brought by traders to the Caribbean in the 1600s. They are particularly beloved in Asia, where they are used in festive meals and celebrations.

Pummelo Salad with Coconut & Shrimp

Thai pummelo salad is called Yam Som-O, and is a very popular dish. With its combination of sweet pummelo, crunchy peanuts and coconut flakes, and spicy red chili, it’s a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds, perfectly complementing delectable shrimp. It’s a meal in itself, or a flavorful first course to a rich main dish.
Course Main Dish, Salads
Cuisine Seafood



  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons shallots finely-minced
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 red or green Thai chiles finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Kosher salt


  • 1 pummelo
  • 1 pound medium shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut flakes unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup plain roasted peanuts roughly chopped
  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves


  • Add 2 tablespoons oil to a saucepan over a medium heat, and sauté the shallots, garlic, and Thai chiles for 5 minutes, until fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk, and stir together. Continue to cook another minute or so until thoroughly heated.
  • Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
  • Add the coconut flakes to a dry skillet over a medium low heat. Toast, turning frequently, until they turn a medium brown color. Set aside to cool.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet, and cook the chopped peanuts for about 2 minutes, until browned.
  • Add about a quarter to a half-inch of water to a saucepan, and poach the shrimp until they are pink and curled into shape. Set aside.
  • Peel the pummelo using a sharp knife, taking as much of the thick white pith off as you can. Cut in half over a large bowl (to catch any juice). Cut into the membranes and release the flesh into the bowl. Break the segments into smaller, bite-size pieces.
  • Add the poached shrimp, toasted coconut flakes and peanuts, and cilantro leaves to the bowl with the pummelo – reserving a little of the peanuts and coconut flakes.
  • To the coconut milk mixture, which should be cooled by now, add the brown sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce. Stir dressing together, and season with salt to taste.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss gently.
  • Divide onto 4 plates, or serve on a platter. Top with the remaining coconut flakes and peanuts.
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