Grapefruit Salad with Chile, Lime and Coconut

Grapefruit Salad with Chile, Lime and Coconut

Bon Appetit Magazine May 2015

The May issue of Bon Appetit Magazine sparked my wanderlust.  They featured dishes from around the globe in this issue, the travel issue, and made me think hard about my credit card airline milage.  Should I go to Ireland to dine at Ballymaloe House, with their image of Zucchini-Herb Fritters with Greek Yogurt or hike up Altmann mountain in the Swiss Alps to eat charcuterie?  The answer is yes, I’d love to indulge in both, but at the moment it’s a bit out of reach.  Work is crazy busy, I have four weddings coming up and summer isn’t really the time to leave Seattle.  This is what we’ve slogged through months of drizzly rain for.  This is bike riding, kayaking, patio cocktail sipping, evening jogging weather and I plan to do all of that!

So while the weather is lovely and my friends are gathering for weekend bbq’s, it’s time to step up my potluck game.  Eddie was thumbing through said Bon Appetit travel issue and stopped at the Bangkok article.  He wanted to bring Curry-and-Coconut-Milk-Grilled Pork Skewers to a bbq/birthday party and I complimented his selection with Pomelo Salad.  Pomelo is a Southeast Asian citrus closely related to grapefruit.  If you can’t find pomelo, the recipe calls for 2, use 3-4 grapefruit.  I was was more than happy with the outcome!

Foodie Note:  this salad is rich with juice and flavor.  Save the tangy sweet nectar once the grapefruit is consumed for use as a dressing for freshly sliced bell pepper and roasted chicken.  You’ll be ever so happy you did.

chicken pepper pomelo

Don’t throw away that juice! Top roasted chicken and fresh bell pepper with the tangy dressing.

grapefruit salad 1.1

Trim rind and pitch away from the tangy pink fruit.

Trim rind and pith away from the tangy pink fruit.


Serves 4 as a side dish


2 tablespoons palm sugar or light brown sugar

2 red or green Thai chiles, finely chopped; you can sub Serrano peppers if need be, the grapefruit cooks the spice out of them

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup lime juice, about 3 limes

2-3 tablespoons fish sauce, depending on your flavor preferences

Kosher or sea salt

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 shallots, thinly sliced, divided

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, preferably skin-on

2 pomelos or 3 ruby red grapefruit

3/4 cup torn cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons dried powdered shrimp (found in spice shops or ethnic grocery stores)



1) In a medium sized bowl, add sugar and 1 tablespoon water to dissolve.  Whisk in chiles, garlic, lime juice and fish sauce; season with salt and balance with more lime juice, sugar or fish sauce as needed.

2) In a dry non-stick pan, toast coconut over medium heat until fragrant and golden, about 4 minutes.  Set aside.

3) Heat oil in the same saucepan over medium heat. Add half of the shallots and fry, swirling, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels with a slotted spoon to drain; season with salt.

4) Slice top and bottom of grapefruit; using a sharp pairing knife, trim the rind and white pitch from fruit.  Hold the fruit in your non dominant hand over the lime juice bowl; slice segments away from tough dividers.  Let tender fruit drop into dressing.

5) Add raw shallots, half the coconut, cilantro, peanuts and powdered shrimp.  Transfer to a serving platter, top with remaining cilantro coconut, peanuts, shrimp and fried shallots.  Enjoy!

Need something to do with those grapefruit rinds?  Try a FWALess grapefruit spritzer!

FWALess grapefruit spritzer!