Pomelo Salad with Toasted Almonds & Coconut

February 24, 2016

A delicious Vietnamese pomelo salad packed with lots of crunch and sweetness.

This pomelo salad has it all. Crunchy, sweet, sour with a touch of salty. So yum! This was my first go around with this beautiful citrus, but it won't be my last.

For many years, I didn't eat grapefruit because I was on a statin medication before I became plant-based. Grapefruit can affect how fast statins are absorbed into the bloodstream and can lead to side effects. So, if you are on a statin medication, please skip the pomelo since they are part of the grapefruit family.

So what exactly is a pomelo? They are the largest of the citrus fruits and have a thicker pith than other citrus varieties. Pith is the white spongy tissue between the fruit and the peel and can be bitter so make sure you remove all the pith. It's easy to do with a sharp knife and a cutting board.

Just slice off the stem end and the bottom end of the fruit. This will give you a steady surface. Place your pomelo on the cutting board with one of the cut sides down. Start at the top of the fruit and cut downwards through the peel and pith following the contour of the fruit. Turn the fruit and continue cutting downwards until all the peel and pith is removed. Trim off any bits of pith that remain on the fruit.

I actually liked this pomelo much better than a grapefruit because it has a sweeter and more mild flavor. They are in season beginning in the fall and continues into May. In California, we can find them almost any time of year.

On the nutrition side, pomelos are rich in Vitamin C and also in Vitamin B. It contains a high amount of beta carotene and folic acid which helps keep your eyes and skin healthy. Pomelos also contain a good amount of potassium.

A sweet and mild grapefruit packed with flavor. (#vegan) ordinaryvegan.netPomelo Grapefruits have a sweet and mild flavor

I choose to use them in a salad when I saw an article in the LA Times about pomelos. They published a Vietnamese take on the salad but, of course, vegans don't eat fish sauce, so I made some adjustments and came up with this. I couldn't stop eating it.

What I enjoyed most about this pomelo salad is that it's filled with low calorie,  high-nutrient foods. I especially love using cabbage because of all the fiber and crunch. When you eat fiber rich, high-nutrient foods, you fill up faster and stay full longer.

What is also lovely is that you can eat as much of this salad as you want because all the ingredients are low-calorie density foods. If you want to learn more about why a vegan can eat 33% more food yet consume 33% fewer calories, please listen to Ordinary Vegan's podcast that was published this month. Here is a link. You can also listen on iTunes. Just search for Ordinary Vegan.

Hope you enjoy this pomelo salad as much as I did. Don't miss any of Ordinary Vegan's free recipes by signing up here.

Crunchy & Sweet Pomelo Salad with Toasted Almonds & Coconut

Pomelo Salad with Toasted Almonds & Coconut
Prep time
Total time
Pomelo's are a delicious sweet and mild citrus related to the grapefruit family.
Recipe type: Asian
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice (approximately 1½ limes)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small Thai chile, minced (use less if you don't like a lot of heat)
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds or your favorite nut
  • 4 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut
  • 2 Pomelos, skin removed and cut into bite-sized pieces (remove all pith)
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage (red or white)
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro or torn basil leaves (or both)
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the peanuts and coconut and saute until fragrant and lightly toasted. This only takes about a minute or two so keep stirring. Set aside
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and chile pepper. Set aside.
  1. Lightly toss together the cabbage, pomelos, mint leaves, cucumber, red bell pepper, green onions cilantro or basil leaves. Pour the dressing over it and lightly toss to combine.
  2. Top with the coconut and nuts.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 176 Fat: 8 grams Saturated fat: 2 grams Trans fat: 0 Sugar: 17 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 6 grams Cholesterol: 0

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