Who would have thunk that there's Vietnamese food in Switzerland. Rosa, the Geneva-based blogger behind Rosa's Yummy Yums, tells me that Viet food is popular there. She makes quite a bit of it herself. Over the weekend posted a recipe for goi buoi thit ga and she served it with shrimp chips (banh phong tom) too!
In Vietnam, pomelos the size of volleyballs are used for preparing this salad. There's a special kind grown in the southern region that is particularly flavorful, with segments that are easy to peel. Note that hardcore, traditional Viet cooks cut away the peel, removed all the white pith, peeled back the translucent skin of each segment AND then separated each one of the tear-drop shaped bits for this salad. It is super labor intensive work and to get a small plate of such a salad is a treat indeed. I enjoyed such a preparation at Phu Xuan restaurant in Saigon this year. Wow.
But modern cooks don't have as much time or patience, so cutting up a grapefruit or pomelo works great. The flavor is more less the same. You can carefully separate the segments into smaller pieces, if you like to mimic traditional foodways.
Rosa's recipe, which used delicious pink grapefruit, is a terrific example of how the flavors and textures combine and harmonize:
- Rosa's Vietnamese Chicken Grapefruit Salad (on her blog)
- Pomelo Salad with Shrimp and Pork (Goi Buoi Tom Thit) my recipe on this site