A Celebratory Fruit
The Biggest Citrus
Pomelo, the biggest Citrus fruit, is considered a celebratory food in Vietnam and Southeast Asia generally. In this Vietnamese dish, the light, fragrant citrus and herbal notes are refreshing and compliment the heavier qualities of Meats that might be served in a full meal. Adapted from Charles Phan.
Pomelo and Jicama Salad / Bưởi cây củ đậu xà lách
2 cups shredded Red Cabbage
1 large Pomelo
1 cup Jicama, shredded finely
½ cup shredded Carrot, optional
½ cup Mint Leaves, coarsely chopped
¼ cup candied Pecans or Walnuts, optional
¼ cup Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
1 small hot Chili Pepper
1 tablespoon Lime Juice
2 teaspoons Oil
First put the Cabbage to soak in some Salted Water while preparing the other Mise en Place.
Prepare the Pomelo by peeling it, then removing the white interior pulps membrane and finally the membranes separating the individual segments of the fruit. All these need to be thrown away and this is the most time-consuming part of preparing this dish. In the end, you get a bowl full of the clean Pomello segments.
They look somewhat like Grapefruit segments. And they might be pink or white. It’s a bit hard to know in advance until you’ve finished peeling the fruit and get a look at the fruit inside.
You also want to lay out the shredded Jicama, the Carrots and Nuts, if you are using them.
Prepare The Mixture and set it aside.
To put it all together, take a large bowl and put in the Jicama, Carrots and Oil.
Drain the Red Cabbage and press out the Water. If you wrap it in a kitchen towel and squeeze hard, this will help remove excess Water. Put the Cabbage in with the other Vegetables.
Put in The Mixture and mix well.
Adjust the seasoning with Salt and Pepper to taste and put the Salad on four serving plates. Arrange the Pomelo and shredded Mint Leaves on top, Nuts if you are using and serve. In Vietnam this would be made with Rau Ram, a Herb that tastes similar to Mint and is sometimes available in Asian markets.