Whenever I go to Thailand, food is the highlight of my trip. I’m not a beach person (I much prefer mountains and lakes), so sampling food and getting lost in the countless food markets is my favorite pastime there. Pomelo shrimp salad has always been my favorite, especially when you see the shrimps crawling around the plastic bucket, still alive and then cooked right in front of you. None of the supermarket frozen stuff.
This is one of the very few recipes that uses small amounts of chili – a nightshade. If you are avoiding nightshades, please omit the chili jam and either substitute it with sugar or skip it altogether.
Mung bean noodles are an interesting lot – nutritionally unimportant, but they give a nice texture and elegance to the meal with their translucent look.
- 1 large pomelo (use grapefruit if you can’t find pomelo)
- 12-16 medium shrimp, peeled
- 3 spring onions
- 5 oz mung bean noodles
- 5 oz green salad mix including arugula, spinach, mizuna, etc
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro (coriander), chopped
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup coconut slices (this is how to make them) or shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp chili jam (get it from an Asian/Thai grocery or online but avoid MSG)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Steam shrimp till they turn pink and set aside to cool.
- Peel the pomelo and use only the juicy parts, cut them into edible chunks. Keep the juice from the pomelo into the serving bowl, you want to enjoy it as a part of this salad.
- Put mung bean noodles in hot boiling water for 5-7 minutes or till soft, strain and cool them off under cold running water.
- Mix all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine.
- Put all the food except coconut slices together in the serving bowl, pour dressing over it and mix gently. I like to use my hands to do that. If the mung bean noodles stick together, rinse them under cold water.
- Decorate with coconut slices or shredded coconut.
- Eat immediately- this recipe is not very tasty the following day. If you need to wait before serving it, keep it in the fridge to cool it off a little.
When shopping for Asian condiments, be sure to look for the various names of MSG. Unfortunately, many of these condiments contain MSG. Words you want to avoid are: monosodium glutamate, monopotassium glutamate yeast extract, yeast, Ajinomoto, Umami – these are just some of them.
AIP: Replace mung bean noodles with zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Replace chili jam with 2 tbsp fresh minced ginger.
Low-FODMAP: Replace pomelo/grapefruit with mandarin orange or green pear. Only use green parts of spring onion. Replace mung bean noodles with zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Use shredded coconut, limit to ¼ cup.
Low-Histamine: Replace pomelo/grapefruit with green pear. Skip spinach and use shredded coconut only if tolerated. Replace chili jam with 2 tbsp fresh minced ginger. Skip fish sauce. Replace lime juice with apple juice. Replace shrimp with 4 salmon steaks, steamed and cut into chunks.