Winter citrus is in full swing, and just because I’ve committed myself to this crazy 2019 global challenge, doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore what’s going on in the grocery store.
I’ve never eaten a pomelo before this recipe. It’s a ridiculous fruit because nearly 50% of it is skin. It looks like a yellow grapefruit but is a little less sour and way more pleasant to eat. It’s got this beautiful pink flesh inside that makes me wanna squeeze the juice out and paint my walls with it.
Instead I ate it.
Thankfully, Vietnam has a Pomelo Salad that is so freaking delicious I want to make this all the time. If summer were more of a citrus-y time of year, this would be ideal to eat poolside. But here we are, dead of winter, where we dream about the vacation we meant to take and pine for summer that is still months away.
Sorry to depress you. Back to Vietnamese Pomelo Salad.
It’s got this sweet/salty/sour flavor from the dressing and slightly tart pomelo segments that I swear were meant to be paired with shrimp. I know avocado isn’t supposed to be in this salad but I wouldn’t be mad if it were.
Now, for the best part. The fried shallots. Fried. Shallots. I don’t think there is a better smell/sound/sight in the world than frying shallots.
I’ll be honest. I kinda f*ck these up every time. I always seem to burn them, or get flour everywhere and end up in a hot-teared mess. So this time I followed a recipe (the thought!) and they turned out perfectly. So perfect that instead of saving half like I intended, I downed the whole batch.
I picked the fried shallot and dressing recipe up from my savior this month Vietnamese Home Cooking. Instead of lemon, I used lime in the dressing, but either would be delicious.
My favorite part might be how beautiful this salad is. So pretty I almost don’t want to eat it…almost.
Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Fried Shallots (Gỏi Bưởi)
(Start making 20 minutes before you want Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Fried Shallots)
Start making the fried shallots. Heat up one cup of flavorless oil to 250F. If you don’t have a thermometer (I can’t find mine for the life of me), start with the heat on low/medium and go from there. Slice 2 large shallots into even, thin rounds, drop them carefully into the oil.
You can always test the shallots if you fear they’ll brown too quickly. You want these to lightly brown around the 8 min mark. After that, with a slotted spoon, pull all the pieces out onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Increase the heat on your oil so your reach 350F.
You’ll drop these back in for just a minute or so, they will get brown and crispy. They will burn quickly so do not take your eyes off them. If you have a mesh strainer, you can pour these over a bowl to collect the oil and separate the shallots. Make sure to space the shallots out on a paper towel so they don’t crowd and get crispy. Use the oil for the rest of the week, tightly sealed, on anything you want a little extra flavor on.
Now, start the dressing while these cool off. Mix lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, salt and chopped thai chilis together. You’ll marinate your shrimp with half of this, and save the other half for the salad. Pour half into a bowl with your defrosted shrimp and let it hang in the fridge.
Segment your pomelo, cutting both ends off the fruit so it will stand upright on your cutting board. Slice downward, peeling the skin off the fruit, curving away from you. You’ll see a beautiful pink fleshy fruit underneath. Holding the fruit in your non dominant hand,cut along both sides of each segment to release it from the membrane.
Slice you cucumbers, chop your herbs, grate your carrots. Get ready to assemble!
Cook your shrimp on the stove top for just a few minutes until your shrimps are pink (depending on the size this might take anywhere from 3-8 minutes).
Mix everything together and present on a plate. Drizzle your dressing over it and top with the fried shallots. Be prepared to want fried shallots on all your salads moving forward.