Sweet, sour & salty salad

Sour, sweet and salty pumelo calamari salad.

Sour, sweet and salty pumelo calamari salad.

This refreshing calamari pomelo salad was my favorite culinary discovery on a trip to Cambodia. It’s packed with sweet, sour, and salty flavours and best enjoyed on a hot day.

Pomelo is one of the largest citrus fruits (citrus maxima) and is grown on Zanzibar! Ripe pomelo has a slightly acidic taste not like a grapefruit and not sweet like an orange. The peel is formidable but very easy to remove. Pomelos are currently in season, so you will find them available around Dar, but consistently at the Green Market and the fruit vendor across from the US Embassy.


Sweet, sour and salty calamari pomelo salad.

2 whole squids, cleaned (see cleaning squid and calamari)
½ cup bread crumbs
½ cup cashew crumbs
½ cup dried coconut
½ cup coconut milk
2 tbs orange juice
1 tbs flour
Pepper to taste

Pomelo Salad
1 pomelo, segmented, segments broken
½ cup each (firmly packed) coriander and mint leaves, coarsely torn
3 golden shallots, very thinly sliced or green onion
1 long green chilli, seeds removed, cut into julienne
¼ cup chopped toasted cashews
Fresh coconut sliced or grated (optional)

Chilli dressing
1 green chilli, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tsp light soft sugar or honey
2½ tbsp lime juice, or to taste
1½ tbsp fish sauce, or to taste

Prepare Calamari

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat two large baking sheets with cooking spray.
Clean squid and dry with a paper towel. Cut tubes crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rings (do not cut tentacles). Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, orange juice, flour and black pepper. Place calamari and mixture in a large freezer bag for 1-4 hours refrigerated.
Combine bread crumbs, dried coconut, ground cashews, lime rind, salt, and pepper in a bowl. After calamari has marinated, lightly coat each piece in bread crumb mixture. Arrange calamari, in a single layer, on prepared baking sheets. Spray the surface with cooking spray.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until calamari is tender and coating is crisp and golden brown. Depending on your oven, you may need to lessen the time. You don’t want your calamari chewy!

Prepare Pomelo and Dressing

1. Peel the pomelo and make sure there is no pith and then separate into segments and remove any seeds. This part can take some time and can be done a day in advance.

2. To make the dressing, pound chilli, garlic and a pinch of salt with a mortar and pestle to a fine paste. If you don’t have time, finely chop. Add remaining ingredients, check seasoning (it should be a balance of hot, salty, sour and sweet), then set aside.

4. In a large bowl, gently combine the pomelo, toasted coconut, shallots, chilies, mint and coriander. Just before serving, add the dressing and toss gently to combine all the ingredients. Sprinkle with green onions and cashews, place baked calamari on top and serve.

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About the Author

Chakula Chick
Teacher extraordinaire by day, creator of good food by night. Join me as I cook my way through Tanzania with (mostly) local ingredients!