Pomelo Salad Rolls

In Recipe by Sean20 Comments

Pomelo Salad Rolls

gỏi cuốn bưởi

I ended up with a little more citrus than I could manage this month. I wanted to get a few more posts up for last month’s citrus feature, but things got a little crazy around here. Fortunately, several of the recipes I wanted to get up fit perfectly into this month’s Asian vegetarian theme, and this one in particular showcases how easy it can be to think outside of the box with pomelo.

Salad rolls or Vietnamese spring rolls (gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese) are nearly universal in their appeal.  They’re fresh, simple, and healthy, and they (or the ingredients needed to make them) are increasingly easy to find.  That being said, it seems like a lot of the pre-made ones I find are simple bland rolls of noodles intended only to act as a delivery method for the sweet/salty sauce that’s served alongside.  So how do you take a salad roll and make it something special?  Make the roll itself interesting, and the dip phenomenal.  To that end, I’ve filled these spectacular salad rolls with sweet-sour pomelo fruit in place of the usual rice noodles, and tweaked the sauce to give it added depth and flavour. Citrus fruit might sound like a strange filling, but pomelo is no ordinary citrus. The individual vesicles in the fruit segments separate easily, and the fruit is much less juicy than an orange or grapefruit. This gives them a texture and size not unlike bean sprouts (which are another popular salad roll filling). They do contribute flavour obviously, but their subtle sweetness doesn’t overwhelm. Throw in strong aromatic herbs (basil and mint) and the tasty crunch of carrots and cucumbers and you’ve got a roll that actually tastes good on its own, even without the dip. As an added bonus, replacing the typical rice noodles with pomelo makes these ultra-healthy.

But man, the dip… the dip is really good. Straight mixes of hoisin and peanut butter seem to be the norm, and they’re alright, but they tend to be a little one-dimensional. This dip (which needn’t be limited to this recipe) brings in a suite of other Southeast Asian ingredients, and the end result is a lot more complex and flavourful. The garlic and shallots actually stand out a little, and the lime juice cuts through the salt and sweet. Hot sauce (e.g. sriracha) is optional, but strongly recommended.

Recipe Notes

These are pretty shockingly easy to make. That being said, don’t be surprised if your first couple of rolls turn out a little sloppier than subsequent ones. Practice makes perfect. I do recommend that you double-wrap your rolls (i.e. use two rice paper sheets for one roll). I find that one sheet alone always seems to tear.

You can vary the vegetable ingredients any way you wish – feel free to substitute or add other herbs (cilantro and culantro would both be good). For the basil, you can use either a Thai style or sweet basil. Thai basil will have a stronger, somewhat anise-like flavour, but both varieties work very well.

Ideally, you want to use a peanut-only (i.e. no sugar or emulsifiers) peanut butter. If you can’t get that, you’ll might want to use a little more soy sauce and a little less hoisin sauce to balance out the sweetness a little bit. If you don’t have the ingredients for the sauce or you don’t have time to make it, you can substitute plain hoisin sauce, or a simple mixture of hoisin and natural peanut butter. The end result should be pretty good, but I do encourage you to add the garlic and shallots – they bring a lot of flavour to the dish. If you wanted to go a different direciton, you could use a good quality nuoc cham (nước chấm) for your dip. Nuoc cham does contain fish sauce however, so keep that in mind if you want to keep this dish vegan.

You may end up with more pomelo than you need from a single fruit. The rest can be refrigerated, or you can expand the recipe and make a few more rolls. Trust me, you’ll want more. If you’re unfamiliar with pomelo, or you’re looking for advice on how to find and choose it, check out the pomelo ingredient page here.


Nutrition Facts
Pomelo Salad Rolls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 406mg 17%
Potassium 117mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 32g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 45%
Vitamin C 47%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional Summary

GOOD NEWS:
These wraps are incredibly healthy. Replacing rice noodles with pomelo not only makes for a tasty variation, but also reduces calories and provides loads of Vitamin C.

BAD NEWS:
Nothing! These are insanely healthy.

Ingredient Pages

Pantry Pages

No pantry pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe.  Like to see one?  Let me know in the comments below or by email.

  • Vegan
  • Inexpensive

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Pomelo salad rolls with hoisin garlic peanut sauce - Diversivore.com
Pomelo Salad Rolls
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Rate this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 10 minutes
Pomelo salad rolls with hoisin garlic peanut sauce - Diversivore.com
Pomelo Salad Rolls
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 rolls 45 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Salad Rolls
Sauce
Servings: rolls
Units:
Instructions
Rolls
  1. Soak two rice paper sheets in very warm water until they're fairly soft. Remove them from the water, let the excess water drip off, and lay them down on top of each other on a plate or other flat surface.
  2. Lay some mint and basil down in a line in the center of the rice paper sheets. Spoon some pomelo over this, then top with carrots, cucumber, and scallion greens.
  3. Fold the salad roll up like a burrito (i.e. fold up the two ends near the line of filling, then fold up one long side, then the other). The stickiness of the rice sheets should hold everything together well.
  4. Set the finished roll aside and repeat the process with all the remaining ingredients. Once you've finished all of the rolls, set them aside for 5-10 minutes to ensure that they're well-sealed.
Sauce
  1. Heat the oils in a small frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and fry for about 1 minute.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat source and add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and peanut butter, and stir together. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and add the water and lime juice. You can mix the chili sauce in if you like, or serve it alongside this sauce.
  3. Serve the rolls with the hoisin-peanut sauce, chili sauce, and crushed peanuts.
Recipe Notes

Ideally, you want to use a peanut-only (i.e. no sugar or emulsifiers) peanut butter. If you can't get that, you'll might want to use a little more soy sauce and a little less hoisin sauce to balance out the sweetness a little bit.

For the basil, you can use either a Thai style or sweet basil. Thai basil will have a stronger, somewhat anise-like flavour, but both varieties work very well.

You may end up with more pomelo than you need from a single fruit. The rest can be refrigerated, or you can expand the recipe and make a few more rolls.

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Comments

  1. I haven’t made spring rolls in a long, long time, and I’ve never made a sauce like that. I’m eager to try it. I think I might try it with a homemade peanut butter.

    1. Author

      Ooh, homemade peanut butter is a good idea. I use store-bought, but it’s the pure peanut kind (which is the only way to go!). I bet a homemade one would taste even fresher and more peanut-y.

  2. Yum! Those rolls look fantastic! Really excited about trying the sauce.
    Looks like I know what I am creating this weekend.
    Thanks!

    1. Author

      Thanks Redawna! I’ve got to admit, as much as I love the rolls and I love using pomelo this way, the sauce was a bit of a show-stopper.

  3. I have never made spring or salad roles before but that doesn’t seem to difficult! Might give this a try on the weekend!! Thanks for a beautiful post.

    1. Author

      You definitely should try them! There’s tons of pomelo around in Vancouver now, and a lot of places are putting them on sale as Chinese New Year approaches. I even found red pomelo this week – imagine how those would look in these salad rolls!

  4. I love this recipe! What a fabulous idea to use pomelo like that. Mine won’t look as pretty as yours but in definitely trying it. I’ve save the link to share on my Facebook page at some point too ?

    1. Author

      Thanks Mel! Don’t be too worried about how pretty they look — these were not the first two rolls, I assure you. Fortunately all evidence of my subpar rolling has been eliminated. I must say, I was pretty pleased with how well the pomelo worked – I love citrus in general, but very few citrus fruits would work they way that pomelo does. Plus it gives you a great recipe for those pomelos that are a little less sweet (which is nice, since the level of sweetness in a pomelo always seems to be a little bit of a gamble). Let me know if you do share the post on facebook – you can always find me there too (http://www.facebook.com/diversivore).

  5. Hey Sean! It’s my first time visiting — great blog! I love the sounds of this recipe. What a fun and fresh twist on traditional salad rolls! I’ve just pinned the recipe to try it out later. Thanks for the inspiration, and have a great weekend!

    1. Author

      Welcome to the site Justine! I’m glad you found me, and thanks for the compliments! Good luck with them when you do try them out… they’re actually a snap to put together.

  6. Yaasssss! This looks amazing. I’ve never made my own salad rolls in fear that it would just disappoint, but you’ve made it seem easy and I gotta try! Beautiful photos and website!

    1. Author

      They are easy! I think that they look a little intimidating, but they come together in a snap. And thanks for the compliments on the site and the photos – these rolls were actually surprisingly tricky to shoot – I took literally 223 photos of them in order to decide on the right ones.

  7. My husband and I love Vietnamese salad rolls — I just haven’t gotten around to making them. I’m not sure if pomelo is easily available in Edmonton, but could find an equivalent substitute. I’m more excited about the sauce!

    1. Author

      Hey Cynthia! I’m originally from Edmonton — at this time of year, you should be able to find it easily at TnT or in Chinatown. Just look for the gigantic citrus fruit! I’m glad you think it all looks good – and yeah, the sauce is dynamite… I could eat it with a spoon.

    1. Author

      Thanks Angela! I think all the added colour is one of the biggest benefits of working with fresh fruits vegetables. It just screams healthy! Good luck with it!

  8. Whaaaaat? Never thought about putting pomelo in a salad roll but daaamn that sound delicious!
    Love the sauce too! I’ve been doing mango salad rolls for a while (pssht. so predeictable), served with a creamy cashew/thai curry/lime dip and they’re always a hit, but you’ve inspired me to step up my game!

    1. Author

      Thanks Sofia! You know it was funny, I peeled open a pomelo and separated out all the little vesicles inside the membranes, and I was like “these are kind of like tiny noodles, or bean sprouts or something” and BAM the idea just hit me. It’s a weird citrus fruit that way — kind of dry, so it works. I actually opened up a pink pomelo yesterday and while it was super tasty, it was a little too juicy for this recipe. I think the beauty is that this recipe gives you something to do with those less-than-spectacular pomelos.

      Glad you like the sauce too! Honestly, yours sounds amazing too! I’m a sucker for cashews and Thai food, so that sounds pretty awesome.

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