As promised in my previous blog on dining out in Manila, here’s my dead easy Thai salad inspired by the one we devoured at People’s Palace. So simple, so quick, the hardest thing is peeling the prawns!
The ingredients are easy to get hold off in your local Asian grocer. Pomelo’s are readily available. If you can’t find a Pomelo, this would work with Ruby-Red Grapefruit, but you will need to add double palm sugar to increase the sweetness. I couldn’t find pink fleshed pomelo like we had in Manila, so the finished salad has a different look to the one we had, however the taste was very close and really fresh and lively in the mouth.
The salad is lovely as part of a banquet or could be served on its own with steamed rice or a spoonful on betel leaves (if you can find them) as a appetiser.
I used fresh grated coconut, as I had some in the freezer that I’d bought from a recent trip to Flemington Markets. However desiccated or shredded dried coconut would also work and toasting it lightly will bring out the flavours of the dried coconut a little more.
Fried shallots are found in most supermarkets in the Asian cooking section.
Prawn and Pomelo Salad with Coconut
1 small pomelo
½ kg fresh prawns, peeled
¼ cup unsalted peanuts
1 tblspn coconut
1 tblspn fresh coriander, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 tbspn palm sugar
small splash of fish sauce
1 tblsp fried shallots
additional handful of coriander leaves to serve
1. Prepare the pomelo by cutting away all the skin and pith so that you can see the fruit. Segment the fruit using a small paring knife by carefully slicing down as close as you can, on either side so that you can remove the segment without any of the pith.
2. Peel the prawns and add to a bowl with the segmented pomelo. Add the palm sugar and lime juice into the bowl and stir through.
3. Place peanuts into a dry fry pan and place on medium heat until peanuts are lightly toasted.
4. Toast the coconut the same way if you are using dried variety. If using fresh coconut, add directly into the salad.
5. Combine the rest of the ingredients except for the fried shallots.
6. Do a taste test, you may need to add more palm sugar or more lime juice, depending on the sweetness of the pomelo. You want it to be sweet, sour and slighly salty.
7. Just before serving, add in the fried shallots (this way they keep crispy). Top with coriander leaves.
8. Serve with boiled rice.
Serves 4 as an appetiser or part of a banquet.