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  • Writer's pictureTina Brand

By way of Martin: Thai style Pomelo Salad

We Southeast Asians are notoriously obsessed about food. If we're not eating something, shopping for it, or cooking, or talking about it, we're reading about it or searching for information about it. I follow my friend Martin Harsono closely on Facebook as he writes in great detail about his Nyonya heritage with a wonderful pictorial documentation alongside witty observations. While we grew up across the Java Sea from each other, many traditions and some of the food we consumed as children were similar.

His beautiful pictures of Nyonya keuh particularly tug at my heart strings (or should I say taste buds?).

More recently, Martin posted a series of short videos on how to make a Thai style pomelo salad. With a beautiful pomelo sitting in my fruit bowl, how could I not write it all down, and make it to share with you? This is brought to you with Martin's kind permission to share.

This is a wonderfully sweet and sour salad, full of fresh flavours and crunch. Lovely as a main course on a warm day, I served our salad with some grilled prawns on the side.


  • 500g cooked chicken breasts

  • 1/2 cup dried prawns, soaked overnight

  • 2-3 tablespoons kecap manis

  • 225g tinned bamboo shoots

  • 225g tinned water chestnuts

  • 1 cup freshest bean sprouts

  • 1 cup julienned cucumber

  • 1/2 cup golden fried peanuts, crushed (I left mine whole)

  • 1 cup pomelo flesh

  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh coriander leaves with some stalk attached

  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves

  • 1/4 cup fried shallots or fried garlic for garnish

  • 1 firm almost green mango, peeled and sliced into a fine julienne (alternatively you can use a can of lychees, drained and roughly chopped)


  • 1/2 cup fish sauce

  • 2 to 3 green chillies depending on how spicy you want the salad, finely sliced

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the above ingredients together until sugar is dissolved, and set aside.


  1. Drain the dried prawns and pat dry.

  2. In a small frypan, dry fry the prawns with the kecap manis for about five minutes, or until the kecap manis is completely absorbed into the prawns. Set aside to cool.

  3. Whizz roughly in a blender and set aside.

  4. Now in a large, shallow bowl, start to assemble your salad.

  5. Start with the heavier ingredients on the bottom, and layer up.

  6. First, add the chicken and dried prawns.

  7. Now, lay the chopped bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cucumber strips over the chicken and prawns.

  8. Throw in the pomelo at this point, then the fresh coriander and mint, and bean sprouts.

  9. Add the mango or lychee pieces at this stage if you're including this option.

  10. Add the crushed or whole peanuts.

  11. Now pour the dressing over the top of the salad.

  12. Use your clean hands to gently toss the salad.

  13. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

  14. Spinkle each serving with some fried shallots or garlic and serve.


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