A close up shot of pomelo salad or "Yum Som O", traditional Thai food
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Sweet & Spicy Thai Pomelo Salad Recipe

Every bite of this delectable salad is like a beautiful symphony of flavors - one that, at first, rises to a crescendo of sweet and fresh fruity tang and gradually declines to end at a nutty aftertaste. What lies in between is an experience you'll never want to forget!
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: pomelo, pomelo salad, pomelo shrimp salad, Spicy pomelo salad, Classic Thai Pomelo Salad
Servings: 4 people
Author: Ishani Bose


  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1.5-2 lb of pomelo peeled and cut into segments
  • 25 shrimps cleaned, peeled & deveined
  • dried red chili flakes as per taste
  • 2 tbsp garlic finely minced
  • 4 tbsp shallots or onions finely minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts
  • fish sauce/ mushroom powder (for the umami flavor)
  • fresh lime juice (as per taste)
  • cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup of shredded coconut or coconut flakes unsweetened


  • To make Thai pomelo salad, take a small saucepan and saute the shallots or onions, garlic, dried pepper flakes in olive oil until you get a delicious aroma and it turns golden-brown. To this, add coconut milk and let it cook in medium heat. Once done, remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool. 
  • In another skillet, dry toast the desiccated coconut flakes over medium to low heat until they turn medium-brown in color.  Remember that coconut burns very easily and that's why ensure you don't leave the skillet unattended.
  • Meanwhile, poach the shrimps in simmering hot water, flavored with the herbs and spices of your choice. Set it aside once it's done. 
  • Now comes the showstopper of the salad - pomelos. Gently break them into segments of approximately 1/2 an inch each. Put them in a bowl. 
  • To this bowl, now add the shallot and coconut mixture, poached shrimps, roasted peanuts, coconut milk, and finely chopped cilantro (if you want). To this, you can add fish sauce or mushroom powder (as per your preference) for the umami taste. You can also add lime juice if you want, however, how much of it should you add depends entirely on the tartness of the pomelos. If the pomelos are sour, you can add a little bit of sugar or honey. For some, the subtle sweetness of coconut milk suffices. 
  • Once done, serve it immediately and enjoy it as a meal with your family and friends!
    A flat-lay picture of pomelo salad or "Yum Som O", traditional Thai food


  • If you cannot find pomelo, you can use grapefruit as a substitute. However, the taste may differ. 
  • For the vegan variant, replace the shrimp with other vegetables (of your choice) and fish sauce with mushroom powder.
  • Ensure that the peanuts you use are fresh. Otherwise, the overall culinary experience will be spoiled with its rancidity alone. 
  • While poaching the shrimps, ensure that you do so in simmering water and not boiling water. You don't want to overcook the shrimps. 
  • This salad cannot be refrigerated without its taste being heavily compromised. It must be eaten fresh if you wish to enjoy the eclectic mix of flavors.