Vietnamese Pomelo Salad with Shrimp and Meat (Goi Buoi Tom Thit)

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or boneless pork chop, or ¾ to 1 cup matchstick-cut gio (Vietnamese silky sausage)
1 medium pomelo
1 carrot, peeled and cut into fine shreds
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, leafy tops only
1/4 cup chopped unsalted, roasted peanuts
1/3 cup Crispy Caramelized Shallot

Dressing
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 generous teaspoon Vietnamese chile garlic sauce, homemade or storebought

Put the salt in a small saucepan and fill 2/3 with water. Bring to a boil and then add the shrimp. As soon as they’ve curled up, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

Return the water to a boil and add the chicken or pork chop. When bubbles form at the rim, turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes to cook the flesh. Remove and set aside to cool. (If you’re using the Vietnamese sausage, skip this step because it’s already cooked.)

Cut the shrimp in the diagonal into large pieces that will blend well with the pomelo and other ingredients. Hand shred the chicken or cut the pork into julienne. Set aside.

Cut off one end of the pomelo to reveal its fleshy pith. Then use your fingers and knife to remove the pith so that all that’s remaining is the white covered flesh. Pry the pomelo open and split into two parts. Then use a knife, scissors and your fingers to peel away the skin from each segment and remove the flesh. Separate the flesh into bite size pieces and deposit in a bowl.

For the dressing, combine fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar and chile garlic sauce in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Right before serving, add the shrimp, chicken or pork, carrot, mint, cilantro, peanuts and shallot to the pomelo. Toss with your fingers or tongs to combine well. Add the dressing and toss. Taste and adjust the flavors, as needed. Transfer to a plate, leaving any liquid behind and serve.

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