Grapefruit Salad Saigon Style

Grapefruit Salad, Saigon Style

Grapefruit Salad, Saigon Style

Have you seen the movie, “The 100 Foot Journey”, yet? What a joyous celebration of food and the creative spirit.  When I read the book 2 years ago, I had no idea that it would ever be made into a movie, and I am so glad that it was.  I know that all of you, my foodie friends, will be thoroughly enchanted by it. There is a line in the movie that really struck home. It is something akin to “Food is memory”. I have been pondering this line since I saw the movie and I really think that this is the reason that many of us blog, don’t you think?  I don’t think we should ever underestimate the power that food has to mark events and make meaning in our lives.  I first started to remember today’s recipe after reading Saucy Gander’s post about a Pomelo Salad that she had eaten while travelling in Myanmar. Memories of my husband and I in a little beach resort in Mune Beach, Vietnam came flooding back to me: memories of a seaside lunch that included a vibrant salad very similar to this one, accompanied by a freshly, grilled fish.  Maybe some of the ingredients were slightly different, but the flavours and the intention of it were the same. Then while browsing through The Flavour Principle, by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Corsariol, I found this recipe and my memory told me that these were the flavours that I had experienced in that idyllic little corner of Vietnam.  The original recipe called for watercress, but for the love of money, I could not find a single sprig of it in any of the veggie markets in my neighbourhood.  Here is my version of it, as I was guided by my memory.  I hope you all enjoy it.

I am very excited to bring a big bowl of this salad over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday!  I know that after all of the lovely sweets that we normally indulge in at our favourite virtual party,  we will all enjoy something on the lighter side.  So, if you haven’t joined us yet at Fiesta Friday, please do.  Angie at The Novice Gardener and her gracious co-hosts, put on an awesome bash every Friday and we just love new visitors! Come join us!


Grapefruit Salad, Saigon Style

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Serves 4



Juice and zest of one lime

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon Vietnamese chili-garlic sauce or sambal oelek


2 bunches watercress (I used pea and sunflower shoots)

1 pink grapefruit, cut into segments, pith removed and torn into pieces

1 avocado, sliced

2 green onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon finely chopped Thai or regular basil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro


Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and chill until needed.

Toss the ingredients for the salad in a medium salad bowl. Toss with the dressing and enjoy the exotic taste of Vietnam!  This is lovely next to some grilled fish.



58 Responses to “Grapefruit Salad Saigon Style”

  1. Natalie Tamara

    The salad looks delicious! I definitely have lots of food memories and tastes that take me back to faraway places – it sounds as though I need to watch that film 😉

    • chefjulianna

      Oh good! Then I got the line right! Always so hard to remember when there is so much going on in the movie! Happy weekend to you too! 😀

  2. Lori

    I’ve really been wanting to see the movie! Looks great! And your salad looks lovely…as your food always does Julianna! Hugs!

  3. simplyvegetarian777

    I am off to watch that movie tomorrow with my girl friends :). The make character is one of my favorite actors from India. Very seasoned.

    That salad has amazing dressing. I bet juicy and scrumptious salad.

    • chefjulianna

      Oh, I just love him as an actor! He is very seasoned, indeed. I have seen him in many movies! Hope you like the movie! Really glad you like the salad too! 🙂

      • simplyvegetarian777

        Saw that movie last night with my girl friends. I could see myself living that movie….not as in restauranteurs but in cultural mix of it… Bringing your own food to a different country and experiment ion and fusing and at the same time keeping it simple and authentic :).

  4. Sue

    Your blog is simply looking amazing . . . and your photography has really become fantastic! I love to see how your site has grown! Also, what a delicious salad. !!

  5. chefjulianna

    Oh, thanks so much, Sue! I lost the space where I usually photograph for a little while and had to experiment with some new light sources! It’s good because you do learn some new things. I appreciate the comment! 🙂 Really glad you like the salad! 😀

  6. spiceinthecity

    I havent seen the movie, gonna google it right after I post this comment 🙂 You are on a roll when it comes to gorgeous salads! This one looks so refreshing!

    • chefjulianna

      Oh thanks, Naina! I just love salads in the summer! Hopefully you get a chance to see the move and let me know what you think of it! Better yet, read the book first! Happy FF to you! 😀

  7. lapetitecasserole

    So yummy Julianna! We’re having a quite hot weekend here in Montreal, this salad will suit perfectly the hot temperature! Thanks a lot for being at the FF!

  8. Ngan R.

    Beautiful salad, Julianna, and I am looking forward to watching the movie. I have been eagerly awaiting the chance to watch it. I think pea shoots are a nice replacement for the watercress.

  9. flavourphotos

    I’ve never heard of the book or movie but I love the line about food being memory. I totally agree that food can take you right back to some of the best and happiest moments shared with loved ones.
    Many years ago I spent about 2 1/2 months in one of the most beautiful islands in Malaysia. My new boyfriend at the time was working in two stunning hotels right by the beach and rainforest in Langkawi. The ‘Trio of Chocolate Mousses’ we were served there will still bring back the happiest memories of feeling like a princess… and my prince charming is still by my side over 17 years later 🙂

    • chefjulianna

      Well, it is so lovely that you can still share those memories so many years later! The trio of mousses just sounds so wonderful! I really appreciate that you shared this with me. 😀

  10. Ahila

    I enjoy your salad combinations a lot… another delightful, flavourful one! Have a great week, Julianna! 🙂

  11. Patty Nguyen

    I had my very first grapefruit salad in Saigon several years ago. What a coincidence! Your post brought back such nice memories and now I’m wishing I had a bowl of your salad!

    • chefjulianna

      You really should watch this movie, Credina! I also would like to thank you, very belatedly for this award! I truly appreciate it! 🙂

  12. petra08

    The salad is looking absolutely delicious! Grapefruit is a great flavour in salads! and the dressing sounds yummy!

  13. Pang @circahappy

    Your version of Pomelo Salad looks & sounds wonderful. Since I like Pomelo Salad, I need to try yours as well. “Food is memory” indeed, and I am so happy you have a happy memory with this dish. 🙂


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