Sometimes you come across something so good, it becomes your chief meal for a week. I quite love herby salads – see this Lebanese one, and of course, Buddha’s Bowl to which I add heaps of Asian soft herbs – but in the past it was a lot of work to get Asian herbs.
However, things have changed. With a huge Asian supermarket “just down the road”, life is so much easier in the Asian department. Pomelos, green mangoes, pea eggplants, herbs of every nationality, and so much more, at my fingertips.
So on one of the first Sunny, warm days of this Spring, this salad came together. Not quite Thai, but it definitely has some overtones of Thai food. I do hope that you enjoy.
This salad is fresh and herby, crispy from the vegetables, with crunch from peanuts and shallots, sour from the pomelo, tamarind and green mango, bitter from the witlof, hot from the chilli, sweet from the dressing, salty from the soy. It has all of the flavours built into one dish.
Are you looking for more Pomelo recipes? Try Pomelo, Radish and Kohlrabi Salad, Three Citrus Salad with Green Chilli, Ginger and Almond Salsa, Pomelo with Avocado, Pomelo and Carrot Salad, and Pomelo with Asian Flavours.
For Pea Eggplants, try Sundakkai Sambar, an Indian dish with fresh Pea Eggplants.
Pomelo, Green Mango and Pea Eggplant Salad with Herbs and Tamarind Dressing
Adjust ingredients to your own taste. There are no hard and fast rules for this dish.
1.5 – 2 cups chopped soft herbs – mint, dill, basil, Thai basil, Saw Leaf, Thai mint, etc (a visit to your Asian supermarket is recommended – select 4 or so herbs for your salad)
0.5 cup coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped
1 stalk lemon grass – bash the ends of it with a heavy object (I use a pestle), and slice the inner part finely
6 green beans, top and tailed, and sliced on the diagonal
2 spring onions (scallions), sliced on the diagonal
1 small bunch young asparagus, sliced on the diagonal into small chunks
12 – 18 pea eggplants, sliced finely
12 pea eggplants, briefly roasted in a hot pan (left whole)
0.5 green mango, peeled and sliced into julienne
0.5 Pomelo, peeled, segmented, membranes removed, and segments cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 green chilli (or to taste), sliced finely
1 star fruit, sliced (optional)
2 leaves witlof, julienned (optional)
1 red chilli (or to taste), sliced finely (optional)
green lettuce leaves
2 Tblspn palm sugar
3 – 4 Tblspn thicker tamarind water
2 tspn light soy
deep fried shallots (available from Asian Supermarkets)
small red peanuts, sautéed in ghee or dry roasted in a pan on the stove (available in Indian or Asian shops)
1 tspn sesame seeds, slightly crushed
Prepare all of the ingredients and mix well.
Place on green lettuce leaves on a serving plate. Mix the dressing and spoon some over the salad.
Garnish with the deep fried shallots, peanuts and sesame seeds.
Serve with the extra dressing along side, so people can help themselves.
recipe notes and alternatives
Use the Asian flat beans in stead of the beans if you like