Spicy Thai Grapefruit Salad

This spicy Thai grapefruit salad is bright and zesty with complimentary flavors. It's a real showpiece for a dinner party! Punch it up with some rice noodles for a vegetarian main course or add in some ahi tuna to make a delicious poke bowl. 

Spicy Thai Grapefruit Salad

I wanted a salad that reflected my mood this week and this is a glorious one! This is my ode to the greens, pinks, and yellows that are popping up everywhere. It's absolutely gorgeous in Evanston right now - spring is in full bloom and the trees, tulips, and daffodils are stunning. My little hydrangeas are growing and I planted a peony and some astilbes yesterday. Living in Qatar for so many years I forgot about spring. It gets kind of hot there this time of year and it feels a lot more like summer. When I lived in Jordan, I loved the spring rains that carpeted the rocky terrain in wild flowers, but nothing compares to the green, green, green of the Midwest. It's hard-earned though. This winter seemed like it might never end (Seasonal Affective Disorder is real, people!) But, I'm living in the moment and relishing every chance to be outside. 

I know many of you are probably experiencing the same natural beauty, but wherever you are, I'm happy to share this recipe that I know will brighten your day. 

Spicy Thai Grapefruit Salad
Spicy Thai Grapefruit Salad | This Healthy Table

Yield: 4 side salad servings

Spicy Thai Grapefruit Salad

This brightly flavored salad has sharp, complimentary flavors - a real showpiece for a dinner party!

prep time: 35 MINScook time: total time: 35 mins


Marinade Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar (the finer the better)
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin strips
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and cut into thin strips
Salad Ingredients
  • 2 large grapefruit, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons black or white sesame seeds (or both!)
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • pinch of salt


  1. Combine the sugar and vinegar in a large bowl. Whisk till combined and the sugar is mostly dissolved. 
  2. Add the orange blossom water, star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger, and chili to the bowl and stir to combine. 
  3. Then add the grapefruit to the vinegar mixture and stir gently to combine. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes. 
  4. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick. Drain the grapefruit, reserving 2 tablespoons of the liquid. 
  5. Toss the grapefruit with the watercress, mango, peanut oil, and lime juice. Place on a large serving plate. 
  6. Top the salad with the reserved marinade, shallot, sesame seeds, peanuts, and salt.  

This recipe was inspired by Ottolenghi's glorious Pomelo Salad from his book Plenty More

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