Succulent grapefruit (or pomelo) salad


Clockwise from lower left: Intensely Green Spinach and Tomato Salad with Peanuts; Punchy-Crunchy Ginger Salad; Tart-Sweet Chile-Garlic Sauce; Succulent Grapefruit Salad (page 45); and Fresh Red Chile Chutney.


A real triumph, this fresh-tasting salad is another instance of a Burmese dish that is greater than the sum of its parts. Pomelos are much larger than grapefruits, with thick skins and less juicy pulp; look for them at Asian and other produce markets. (Another version of this salad uses citrons.)

In Burma, pomelos (and citrons) are much more common than grapefruits. In North America, the reverse is true, so the easiest way to make this is with ripe grapefruit; pink ones make an especially beautiful salad. Serve as a refreshing foil to rich meat dishes.

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To segment the grapefruits or pomelo, using a sharp knife, peel the fruit, cutting deeply, so that you are cutting the peel and white pith off together and the fruit inside is exposed. (You may feel that you are wasting some of the fruit, but in fact this method saves more fruit in the end.) Hold the fruit in one hand, working over a bowl, and slide a sharp paring knife along the surface of one of the membranes. Twist the knife a little to flip the segment free from the membranes, and let it drop into the bowl. Work your way around the fruit like this, freeing each segment in turn. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes into the bowl.

Transfer the grapefruit or pomelo segments to a wide shallow bowl. (Drink the juice or set aside for another purpose.) Add the shallots, shrimp powder, toasted chickpea flour, and fried shallots and toss. Add the fish sauce and the shallot oil and toss. Taste and add a little more fish sauce or some salt if you wish.