The pomelo is an ancient citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. It is not dissimilar to grapefruit, and it makes a regular appearance in Vietnamese salads.
In this dish, the pomelo gives a refreshing burst of sweetness and a slight sour tang, which provides a wonderful contrast to the meaty prawns.
- 1 small pomelo
- 12 cooked medium prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined
- 1 bunch mint, leaves picked
- 1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked
- 2 Thai basil stalks, leaves picked
- 2 long red chillies, deseeded and julienned
- 2 Lebanese (short) cucumbers, halved lengthways and sliced on an angle
- 2 tbsp fried shallots
Nuoc mam dressing
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 brid's eye chillies, finely chopped or sliced
- 150 ml fish sauce
- 100 ml white vinegar
- 140 g caster (superfine) sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, thinly sliced
Pickled carrot and daikon
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) white vinegar
- 100 g caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 kg carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 300 g daikon (white radish), cut into matchsticks
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
This recipes needs to be started 2 days in advance if making the pickled carrot and daikon component.
1. To make the pickle liquid, combine the vinegar and sugar in a bowl and add 100 ml water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse the daikon and carrot under warm running water for 5 minutes, then drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel. Transfer to a large plastic container or non-reactive bowl. Pour the pickle liquid over the vegetables and set aside in the fridge for 2 days, after which time the pickles will be ready to use. Makes 1.3 kg. Leftover pickle will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
2. To remove the flesh from the pomelo, peel the rind from the fruit and break the fruit in half. Individually peel the skin from each segment and gently pull the flesh out. This will ensure that the segments are not broken and bruised. Gently slice the segments into bite-sized pieces.
3. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients except for the minced garlic cloves and the thinly sliced chilli, and 200 ml water in a bowl and stir through until the sugar has dissolved. Add 150 ml of the sauce (the rest keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks) to a small bowl with the remaining garlic and chilli. Whisk to combine.
4. Combine all the salad ingredients except the fried shallots in a large bowl. Toss through the nuoc mam dressing, then transfer to a large serving plate or bowl.
5. Top with the fried shallots and serve.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99