23 Sep2014


Pomelos rank in my top 5 favorite fruits, ever. I have always liked them, but often lament the unpredictable quality of pulp within, and buying them is like joining lotto or at least a three number guessing game. Over the past year or so, we have been extremely fortunate, as our kamias/iba scout/supplier in Cebu seems to have a knack for picking out good pomelos some 85% of the time. I’ll take those odds over my track record ANY DAY. Whenever I am in Cebu, she tells me if there are pomelos available “at the docks” (they come from Davao or thereabouts), and I order a good dozen or two to take back to Manila. In the past two months, the pomelos have been wonderful, an early bounty of what normally seems like a pre-Christmas seasonal fruit in past years. At PHP50 per pomelo, and she makes money on that, they compare against pomelos in Manila groceries at PHP150 or more.

But perhaps the biggest surprise to many readers will be the unusual way we have taken to enjoying our pomelos. Take some peeled fruit, add on some sautéed bagoong or shrimp paste, and pop it in your mouth! The mother of a good friend taught us this treat over a decade ago, and it is absolutely delicious! I wrote about it in 2005, early in the life of this blog, so I figured I would bring it up again. Sweet and savory is not a new concept, and eating green mangoes with salt is obvious. So is duhat and guava with salt. Or green mango with bagoong. But I never thought to do pomelos and bagoong. When we lived in Jakarta, we always used to marvel at the afternoon snack (rujak) of sliced up mixed fruit (mango, papaya, singkamas, apples, etc. mixed with chilies and terasi or shrimp paste) that was the ultimate snack food. We were warned off from cooties in street food then so I didn’t partake often, but when we had the same dish in homes of friends, it was always a hit. The tartness and sweetness of the fruit mixed in with saltiness and chilies was a mouthful of yum. Hmm, come to think of it, I have never made that here in Manila and should. At any rate, the next time you get some good pomelos, remember to try them with some bagoong!



  1. Lou says:

    Oh I wish I could lay my hands on some pomelo now. This year they have been selling pomelos at the grocery, sometimes even a buck for one and very sweet. Not too many people here in the Midwest are familiar with them so more for me. Thanks MM, I will try it with bagoong next time. We have just started salting our cherries and shaking them before eating imagining they are duhat. Yum!

    Sep 23, 2014 | 9:52 am


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  3. Kari says:

    That is such a great idea. Must try it next time! I usually just have it with salt.

    By the way, is it possible to call a Zubuchon branch and reserve frozen lechon that can be picked up at the airport branch instead? It was sold out last Saturday (probably because of the surge of participants from the conference I attended as well, haha).

    Sep 23, 2014 | 9:58 am

  4. Marketman says:

    Kari, my utmost apologies for the stock out on Saturday. That is absolutely, positively a no-no for the airport branch and we have all sorts of contingencies set up to avoid it. But for some reason, due to huge flight delays Friday and Saturday combined with an ending conference, every single kilo of lechon on Saturday seems to have been swallowed up.

    To answer your question, when you are next in Cebu, please call the airport directly at 032.511.0005 and you can reserve your frozen lechon with them. If you buy the lechon in advance from a branch, for airport pick-up, you save PHP50 per kilo (airport rents are the highest of any retail space in the entire country), but you have to pay at the branch.

    I am mortified they ran out, and if you really want some here in Manila, and we can arrange a mutually convenient place to pick it up, I can have some sent airfreight or bring some back with me the next time I am in Cebu to make up for the stock out. Just let me know and I will email you privately to arrange this. Again, our apologies.

    Sep 23, 2014 | 10:41 am

  5. leigh says:

    MM, ever tried using vinegar as a dipping sauce for pomelo? It’s a personal fave though a lot of people find it rather odd ;-)

    Sep 23, 2014 | 10:56 am

  6. Marketman says:

    leigh, I haven’t, but I love vinegar with singkamas, semi-ripe papaya, etc.

    Sep 23, 2014 | 11:14 am

  7. titashi says:

    my brother-in-law who is Ilocano, eats his pomelo dipped in sukang iloko! he swears that it taste good. i also love pomelo and now that you mentioned about eating it with bagoong, i will try it and maybe will give sukang iloko a try too : )

    Sep 23, 2014 | 11:35 am

  8. manny says:

    Now if somebody could just point out a good source for pomelo in manila I would be ever so grateful…

    Sep 23, 2014 | 4:23 pm

  9. Ed B says:

    As an Ilokano, I can attest to eating green mangoes dipped in sukang Iloko. We usually mix a bit of bagoong balayan with the sukang Iloko for balance and to give the dip more flavor. The truly hardcore (my mom) even take a sip of the sukang Iloko after taking a bite of the green mango. :D

    Sep 23, 2014 | 4:41 pm

  10. Marketman says:

    manny, on Pasong Tamo in Makati, near the Lumbang? gate of Dasmarinas, there is a place called “SunGee” or something like that which sells pomelos and other fruit. They are quite pricey and pomelos often small, but quite sweet and succulent. Alternatively the large groceries and S&R now sell them peeled, so you can buy those with less risk, but at even higher prices still.

    Sep 23, 2014 | 5:13 pm

  11. Khew says:

    Thai pomelo salad. Scrumptious!

    Sep 23, 2014 | 6:46 pm

  12. LP says:

    My personal favorite with pomelo/suha is to dip it in champuy powder. Salivating . . . .

    Sep 23, 2014 | 7:04 pm

  13. psychomom says:

    yum!!! i like to dip my pomelos in patis/vinegar with chilis. even my son likes it this way.

    Sep 23, 2014 | 9:22 pm

  14. betty q. says:

    psychomom…try fresh ripe pineapple but the one that is product of Costa Rica, cut into spears, then a dip made with patis, lime juice, a little sugar, chopped cilantro, chili flakes. Oh…thinly slice some onions, sprinkle with a little sugar, let it sit for a few minutes and then squeeze. Add to pineapple and douse with the dip….serve cold. I can eat a whole bowlful of this all by myself!

    Quickest way to get pomelo segments? Just cut the peel like you would orange exposing a little of the pulp. Then cut in half and make a V cut along the center to remove the middle white part …then remove each membrane and segments…segments come out whole and no white membrane clinging.

    Sep 24, 2014 | 3:56 am

  15. Risa says:

    Betty Q – the pineapple dressing you mentioned is very much like the Thai pomelo salad dressing (just add sliced chili and shrimp!).

    Sep 24, 2014 | 8:27 am

  16. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Here here for pomelo and vinegar (I like rice vinegar). Pomelo and condensed milk is another favorite.

    Sep 24, 2014 | 9:24 am

  17. Betchay says:

    I love pomelos too!

    @BettyQ: sounds delicious!

    Sep 24, 2014 | 10:03 am

  18. nuno says:

    Sweet Pomelo with spicy vinegar with salt added and ground pepper. Yummy!

    Sep 24, 2014 | 5:53 pm

  19. florisa says:

    Interesting. I only eat pomelo as it is, no condiments at all. I have to try it with spicy vinegar, and wth bagoong, maybe with salt as well.

    Sep 25, 2014 | 12:51 am

  20. DhayL says:

    Geez! I didn’t even need to read the entire post, I was started drooling as soon as I saw the photo! Will definitely try this soon!

    Sep 25, 2014 | 1:17 am

  21. Tok says:

    Pomelo + shirmp paste = DROOOOOOOLING!!! i’ll try this after office work. Thanks MM for the post.

    Sep 25, 2014 | 1:10 pm

  22. Bernard says:

    Buongon (pomelo) with Kiamoy powder is the best :)

    Sep 25, 2014 | 4:16 pm

  23. psychomom says:

    thank you bettyq! will try that recipe!!! on my way home in october, hoping to get to cebu for Zubudagat and Zubuchon…. YUM!!!!

    Sep 26, 2014 | 3:50 am

  24. chichay says:

    i enjoy guavas soaked in vinegar.

    Sep 27, 2014 | 4:44 pm

  25. Marie Ann says:

    We had a “suha” (pomelo) tree growing up in the province. I ate it with either asin or suka, never bagoong. But living in Southern California, I put “Tajin” on all my fruits — mango, watermelon, cucumber, tastes good with anything, including “suha”!!! Hmmm makapunta nga sa Seafood City…:-)P

    Sep 28, 2014 | 1:14 am


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