Sunday, January 18, 2009

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp)

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp) 1

The last time I met up with Susan of Open Mouth, Insert Fork, she was kind enough to give me a whole bounty of citrus fruits, including her last pomelo.

Pomelos have very thick rinds with mild, not so juicy flesh. Think of grapefruit but with less juice and much sweeter. The membranes around each segment are thick too, so you'll want to discard that. The pomelos in Vietnam are much larger than I've seen here, sometimes weighing up to to 1 or 2 kg. Their tops are also oblong, so the pomelo is a bit pear-shaped.

In the photo below, you can see how big a pomelo is compared to a grapefruit.

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp) 3

I decided to to make Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp). If you can't find any pomelos, you can substitute with regular grapefruit. I boiled the shrimp, but grilled shrimp works great too. I used rau ram (Vietnamese coriander) from my yard, but you could use cilantro or mint or any other herbs you wish, or thinly sliced cabbage. And of course, the Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots) added a nice crunch. Eat it plain, or serve with Banh Phong Tom (Vietnamese Shrimp Chips) to scoop it up.

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp) 2

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp)

You'll need:
1/2 Pomelo, segments removed from membranes
1 Carrot, julienned
Half a dozen, or more, shrimp, boiled or grilled, peeled, deveined, and halved
1/2 cup Rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), or mint, any other herbs of your choice
Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots)
Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce)

Optional: Substitute other herbs or thinly sliced cabbage for the Vietnamese coriander. Banh Phong Tom (Vietnamese Shrimp Chips) for serving.

Make Hanh Phi (Vietnamese Fried Shallots). Set aside.

Make the Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese Fish Dipping Sauce). Set aside.

Peel and devein shrimp. Boil or grill the shrimp and slice in half. Set aside.

Pluck and clean herbs. Set aside.

Remove pomelo segments from their membranes and separate into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

Julienne 1 carrot.

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp) 4

In a bowl, mix together the pomelo segments, julienned carrot, herbs or cabbage, and shrimp. Add the Vietnamese fish dipping sauce. Toss. Taste and add more if necessary. Then add fried shallots and toss again.

Serve with shrimp chips if you wish.

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp) 5

Look at the smoky and crispy fried shallots.

Goi Buoi Tom (Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp) 6

The salad may also be stored in the fridge and served chilled.


Who made my recipe for goi buoi tom?
MaryRuth of Where's the Bubbler? said, "Wow! This was so awesome! ... The salad is so light and fresh tasting--not to mention easy..."
Hung Huynh made the salad with pink pomelos.

Who else made pomelo salad?
Christine of Holy Basil added pork to her salad.
Darlene of Blazing Hot Wok has a similar Thai version.
Diana of Appetite for China added cucumbers and peanuts.

1 year ago today, best of 2007 recipes from Scallops and Pea Shoots to Tra Atiso (Vietnamese Artichoke Tea).
2 years ago today, dim sum at Restaurant Peony - Oakland.


  1. I have two pomelo chilling on my countertop and one is destined for pomelo shrimp salad! Great minds think alike :-)

  2. lol I just had this dish last night! Oh yeah, Chuc mung nam moi!
    David (Houstonwok)

  3. Never thought of using pomelo in a salad! We always just eat it as is. I like the photos; very colorful and vibrant!

  4. Okay, you're killing me here! This looks fantastic. Do you grow your rau ram in the ground or in a container? I've tried (in a container) before, but it never survived more than a few months. I must try again, because it's my second most favorite herb (number one being cilantro, of course!).

  5. wc, your pictures are looking great, what are you doing different?
    i don't think i've ever had this dish. it looks to be like such a light refreshing summer dish. and i absolutely love rau ram, it's hard to find in the markets here.

  6. I agree, your photos are getting better and better!

  7. I love reading your site so much, because you give me inspiration. First, for your fried shallots post, I am so impressed, I just buy the premade kind! Also, I need to go and get me some pomelo!

  8. This is one of Hubby's favorite. He would order this whenever we dropped by the Vietnamese Restaurant. :)

  9. My friend posted this on Serious Eats, and I thought of you. I am sure you already know how to make banh tet, but I thought you might enjoy it. Happy Lunar New Year!

  10. Looks yummy! I tried doing this with grapefruit but got sidetracked with other citrus fruits. I rationalized it saying that we didn't have pomelos anyways. We used to eat pomelos with salt: they're delicious!

  11. This salad looks yummy. I always end up eating pomelos plain but I'd like to try this recipe soon!

  12. i love this creation of yours!!! :)

  13. Darlene,
    Ha! Jinx!

    Ha! Another! Jinx again! Happy New Year to you too.

    Thanks. I generally like to eat pomelo plain too.

    Mine are grown in a container. Hmm. I can't imagine you not being able to grow something. Is the dirt very moist? I think rau ram thrive better that way?

    Thanks. What looks different to you? Same point and shoot camera. Same crappy florescent lighting. Same blue plate that I seem to be using way too often in photos. Maybe my cooking or plating is getting better? :P

    Haha. A second compliment on my pictures. Well! I guess I gotta figure what I did different with these photos then!

    You are much too kind. A lot of this stuff is very basic. I saw that banh chung post. Actually, she photographed making it at Yen of Lunch Studio's mom's house, which I linked to in last year's Tet posts. My relatives give me enough banh tet that I've actually never attempted to make my own.

    It boggles my mind that there are VNese restaurants in the Philippines. I don't know why since the countries are so close, but it just does!

    I like pomelo with salt and chili peppers.

    Sorry I was so late! It's up now as you can probably see.

    Thanks. I like pomelos plain too.


  14. I so badly wanna eat this! :P I love the plating ... the arrangement of food is so beautiful & pleasing.

  15. wc, the pix look clearer to me, the details crisp. composition looks really good too! :)

  16. Wiffy,
    Thanks. I have no idea why people like this set of pictures so much, but I'll take all the compliments I can get. My food styling isn't the best. :P

    Hmm. I wish I knew what I did so I could repeat it!

  17. Mmm, looks fresh and crunchy. I'm so used to eating my pomelos plain that I dunno if I'd like it in a savory dish. But I'd like to try it sometime- must add shrimp chips to the grocery list!

  18. WC--I just finished eating this for dinner--it is FANTASTIC! Thank you for a wonderful recipe, I know I will make this again. I hope to post the pic soon on my blog.

  19. Jeannie,
    I usually eat my pomelos plain too.

    Yay! I'm glad you liked the recipe. Your version looks mighty tasty too.


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