Grapefruit Mussel Salad

November 11, 2022  Cambodian Chef Avatar
Grapefruit Mussel Salad

Grapefruit Mussel Salad is a beloved Khmer appetizer, particularly enjoyed during mahope sar. This dish combines the flavors of grapefruit, green papaya, and mussel, with the option to use apple snail or Cherrystone for added variety. Mussel shells are scrubbed and cleaned before boiling in a large pot until they open, after which the meat is removed and set aside. The grapefruit is peeled, seeded, and separated into bite-sized chunks.

To prepare the dressing, fresh lime juice is mixed with sugar, salt, and fish sauce in a small bowl. In a large bowl, shredded green papaya, mussel meat, grapefruit chunks, and a handful of chopped fresh mint and sweet basil are combined. The lime sauce is poured over the mixture and mixed thoroughly. For added heat, chopped hot chili peppers can be included. The salad is topped with crushed unsalted roasted peanuts and chili peppers before serving.

This refreshing Grapefruit Mussel Salad can be served with sweet fish sauce or with the Khmer favorite pickle fish dipping sauce known as “tirk pahok.” The combination of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors, along with the diverse textures from the mussel, grapefruit, and papaya, makes this appetizer a delightful addition to Khmer cuisine. The flexibility in ingredient choices further enhances the versatility of this beloved dish, catering to a variety of tastes.


2 lbs (900 gram) of mussel, scrubbed and cleaned shells
1 grapefruit
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1 green papaya, approx 2 lbs (900 gram), peeled, seeded and shredded, or 4 cups already shredded green papaya
A handful chopped fresh mint and sweet basil
2 hot chili pepper, chopped (option)
1/4 cup of unsalted roasted peanut, crushed

Directions to make Grapefruit Mussel Salad

  1. Put mussel in a large pot, pour water enough to cover the mussel and boiled till it shells opened, drained. Removed mussel meat from shells and set it a side.
  2. Peeled and seeded grapefruit, separate each segment into chunks bite sizes and set a side.
  3. In a small bowl, mix fresh lime juice with sugar, salt and fish sauce, set a side.
  4. In a large bowl, mix shredded green papaya, mussel, grapefruit and fresh herbs together, pour lime sauce on top and mix well.
  5. Top with roasted peanut and chili pepper before serve.
  6. Serve with sweet fish sauce
  7. or with Khmer favorite pickle fish dipping sauce (tirk pahok)

Related Recipe: Squid and Mango Salad

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 4

Calories Per Serving: 479

% Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate ‏56g 20%
Cholesterol ‏64mg 21%
Total Fat ‏17g 22%
Saturated Fat ‏10g 50%
Dietary Fiber ‏6g 21%
Protein ‏33g 66%
Sodium ‏1175mg 51%
Sugars ‏29g 58%


15 min


15 min




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