Thai Grapefruit Salad

Beautiful Thai summer grapefruit salad

The Spruce / D.Schmidt 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
127 Calories
4g Fat
22g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 127
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 948mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 6g
Calcium 126mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This fresh and lively citrus salad makes a beautiful addition to any table. In Thailand, instead of grapefruit, they would use pomelo, which is larger in size and white to coral colored but have nearly the same taste and texture as pink grapefruit. This salad makes a gorgeous appetizer, side salad, or delicious lunch. You'll find it unique and refreshing, and so will your guests. 


  • Salad Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 to 2 tsp. Thai chili sauce, or 1 fresh red or green chili (minced)
  • Salad:
  • 12 to 16 medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 tbsp. shredded coconut (for baking, unsweetened or sweetened)
  • 2 pink grapefruit or 1 pomelo
  • 1 small to medium cucumber (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots or purple onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil or mint (chopped if leaves are large)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • Optional: 1 red chili (minced)
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted cashews or peanuts
  • Optional: a handful of salad greens (for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

  2. Set a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add shrimp and boil just a few minutes, until shrimp turn pink and plump and firm to the touch. Drain and set aside to cool.

  3. Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan or wok over medium-high heat and stir until coconut turns light golden brown and fragrant. Place coconut in a small bowl to cool and set aside.

  4. Prepare your grapefruit or pomelo, removing as much of the white peel as possible from the fruit. Break into bite-sized pieces, 3 to 4 cups is a good amount. Set prepared fruit in a salad bowl.

  5. Add to the bowl the cucumber, red pepper, shallots, basil, coriander, and fresh chili, if using.

  6. To put the salad together, add shrimp to the salad bowl, then pour over the dressing. Toss well to combine. Add most of the toasted coconut and nuts, reserving a little for garnishing, then toss again.

  7. Taste-test the salad for a balance of sweet/sour/spicy/salty. Adjust to your liking, adding more sugar if too sour. Your salad is now ready to serve, or, if desired, prepare individual plates with a bed of greens and then top with generous portions of the pomelo salad. Sprinkle with reserved coconut and nuts.


  • Like most Thai salad dressings, this is an oil-free dressing, so it doesn't appear to "cling" as well as oil-based dressings, naturally collecting at the bottom of your salad bowl. Be sure to toss a little more than you would for a regular salad in order to saturate ingredients with the dressing.
  • This salad is best eaten right away–the fresher the better. If preparing for a party, keep the dressing apart from the salad until you're ready to eat, then toss them together just before serving.

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