Editor's note: The following recipe is taken from the "The Yunnan Cookbook" by Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia. The compendium of 120 recipes was originally published in October 2014, by Hong Kong-based Blacksmith Books.
The dishes contained in the book focus primarily on the cooking traditions of the Han Chinese and the Bai, Dai, Naxi, Tibetan and Wa minorities who all call Yunnan home. For more information on the authors and their works, or to purchase a hardcopy of the cookbook, check out the publisher's website or their Amazon page.
It is winter in Kunming, which means it's pomelo season. Nearly ever street vendor or wet market stall selling any fruit at all has piles of the stuff known taxonomically as Citrus maxima. The simple dish described below is served as a cold salad and combines many of the flavors most common in southern Yunnan cooking.
This recipe is a classic Xishuangbanna salad, from a region of Yunnan where pomelos are sweet and mint plentiful. Vary the proportions of aromatic mint and chili to taste. The Dai people eat pomelo with green mango and chili so, based on this concept, use sour and/or sweet fruit to suit your taste and to suit the season. If pomelo is unavailable, use grapefruit. This salad pairs well with fish.
1 pomelo (or 2 grapefruit)
½ papaya (or other seasonal fruit)
2 tablespoon coarsely chopped (or torn) mint leaves
2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
• Cut the top off of the pomelo and remove the flesh
• Set aside the intact rind to use later as a serving bowl
• Break the flesh into small chunks
• Reserve any juice
• Cut the papaya into small cubes
• Toss all the fruit and any juices with the other ingredients and serve in the rind bowl