Hello from Asia! I’m in Hong Kong visiting family for the next month, but I will try to post as frequently as possible. I’m hoping to spend some time doing behind-the-scenes work for the blog while I’m here, such as editing and repurposing old content and finally coming up with a social media strategy.
Coming to this side of the world is always exciting, because the local produce, flavours, and aromas are so different. It’s a much needed change of scenery, and I discover something new about this city every time I’m back. I can’t wait to share some of my new finds with you in an upcoming blog post!
This pomelo salad is one of my favourite Thai dishes- I don’t know when I first tried it, but I have been hooked ever since! It’s light, healthy, refreshing, and is the perfect combination of sweet, sour, and spicy. When I was in St. Louis, I noticed that Thai restaurants were missing this item from the menu. Determined to fulfill my cravings, I bought four pomelos when they came into season and decided to make my own. I’m dedicating this recipe to my boyfriend’s mom, Sheena, because she’s the salad’s biggest fan. She and her husband Dan also very kindly housed me during my time in St. Louis, and I can’t thank them enough for it! She’s currently working on her novel, which I am very excited to read.
Although the original Thai salad uses fish sauce and isn’t vegan, the recipe I’m sharing today uses a simple, homemade vegan phish sauce in place of the real thing. The most time consuming part of this recipe is making the phish sauce and peeling the pomelo. If you don’t have time to make your own phish sauce, you can always search for a store-bought veggie-friendly one. Once you have your pomelo peeled and torn and the phish sauce ready, the salad only takes five minutes to assemble.
EDIT: For those who haven’t heard of pomelo (this came to awareness after Dixya from Food, Pleasure, and Health asked in the comments), pomelo is a citrus fruit very similar to grapefruit. It’s sweeter and less tart, and is often referred to as ‘Chinese grapefruit’. Pomelo is used in several Chinese desserts. Pomelo is native to South and South East Asia, and I found it in Whole Foods while in the U.S. In Toronto, I get my pomelo from Chinatown.
THAI VEGAN POMELO SALAD
Yields 3-4 servings
- 3 pomelos, peeled and cut
- If you need it: here’s a great video on how to peel a pomelo!
- 3/4 cup peanuts, toasted and chopped
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce
- Feel free to use real fish sauce if you aren’t vegan. The recipe for vegan fish sauce can be found below.
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 Thai chili pepper
- juice of 1 lime
- mint and Thai basil, to garnish
Step 1: VEGAN PHISH SAUCE
Yields 3 cups. The recipe for this sauce is from The Kitchn.
- 6 cups water
- 6 large cloves of garlic
- 4-5 sheets of kombu or wakame seaweed
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 cup tamari
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
1. In a large saucepan, bring the kombu, garlic, kombu, peppercorns, and water to a boil.
2. Strain the ingredients and pour the liquid back into the pot. Add the tamari and bring the liquid to a boil.
3. Let the liquid cook until it has reduced and has become incredibly and almost unbearably salty.
4. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk the miso in.
5. Set 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons aside for the salad dressing. Pour the rest into a container and refrigerate.
STEP 2: SALAD
1. While the phish sauce is cooking, peel the pomelo. Tear the pomelo slices into chunks and set aside.
2. Toast the peanuts on low heat.
3. Once the phish sauce is done, pour 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons into a bowl. Add the Thai chilli pepper and whisk the coconut sugar and lime juice into the sauce.
4. In a large bowl, toss the pomelo, peanuts, and salad dressing together. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with mint and Thai basil.
Serve and enjoy : )
I’d love to know: what’s your favourite salad? Or favourite Thai dish? Let me know in the comments below!
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,