Pomelo Salad (Yam Som-O)

Pomelo salad yam som-o


Pomelo salad is one of our favorite Thai dishes. It's a fruit-based salad covered in a tart, spicy and sweet dressing. It's filled with fresh herbs like mint & coriander, and boasts a lovely variety of textures thanks to the pomelo, coconut, and nuts. 

This salad is traditionally made with pomelo but if you don't have access to it, grapefruit is a great replacement. And if you can’t have peanuts, swap them out for toasted cashews or chopped almonds!

Serve this as a side dish or a meal on its own. If you’re having it as a meal, you want to make sure you add a good protein source. Simply cooked prawns, shredded chicken, and pan-fried tempeh all work really well!

If you are serving it as a side dish, pair it with one of these flavorful Thai mains!


  • 1 pomelo, peeled by hand into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves (remove stems and slice thinly)
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (remove outer layer and slice thinly)
  • 1/3 cup packed mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Thai bird's eye chili, finely chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp date paste
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 3-4 tbsp of Nam Prik Sauce or drizzle with Ri’s Mala Chili Oil


  1. Peel your pomelo and discard peel. Working with one section at a time, use your hands to peel off the pith, leaving just the pale green or pink fruit. Gently break apart the fruit. There’s no easy way to do this, so just get in there and get your hands dirty. This is probably the hardest part!
  2. Heat a skillet or wok over medium heat. Add coconut, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant (5-6 minutes).
  3. Place peanuts in a mortar and use a pestle to grind them until they are in coarse, uneven pieces. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, just roughly chop them up with a knife.)
  4. Slice red onions thinly.
  5. Chop your lime leaves and lemongrass thinly. (Note: Kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass can become a bit tough if left in large pieces, so be sure to slice these very finely.)
  6. Roughly chop your mint and cilantro.
For a more authentic flavor, follow this Nam Prik recipe, otherwise use the recipe below for a quick fix.
  1. In a mortar and pestle, grind the chilis into a paste.
  2. Add the chili paste to a bowl along with date paste, fish sauce and lime juice. Mix together.
  3. Taste the dressing and adjust as you’d like, adding more of any of the components. Set aside.
  4. At this point, all of the ingredients can be stored separately for up to a day.

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