We bought a Jeruk Bali from our local supermarket simply because of its proportions. The sight of this citrus fruit, which is the size of a small bowling ball, kept piquing our curiosity each time we visited the fruit and vegetable section. Then one day my husband said to me, ‘Let’s just buy one’. My response? ‘What for? How could something the size of a small child’s head be tasty to eat?’ The clincher was the price. This melon-sized citrus was no more than Rp20,000 (about $2), so into the trolley went the citrus-on-steroids, with no plans for its use (apart from a quick game of ten pin bowling, if all else failed).
Upon sighting the Jerup Bali, our Pembantu, Ibu Tuti, smiled in recognition of our purchase. With great skill, she deftly peeled the fruit and broke it into pieces, removing all traces of the thick pith and membrane. The pink flesh was a visual delight. Each segment consisted of pearl-like bombs of citrusy sweetness which exploded in my mouth. As soon as I tasted it I realised it wasn’t unfamiliar at all. Aah – this is pomelo! I had eaten it many times before but had never sighted the fruit in its unpeeled state. My excitement at discovering this fruit served as inspiration for this recipe.
We hope you enjoy!
2 cups jeruk bali flesh
Baby spinach/rocket (a few hands-full)
100 grams goats cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts/pistachios/roasted almonds (chopped)
2 cups cooked pearl couscous (cold)
1/3 cup dried currents
1 cup pumpkin/sweet potato (cubed and steamed)
1. Cook pearl couscous as per directions on packaging. Stand to side and allow to cool, separating into beads using a fork
2. Peel and chop sweet potato/pumpkin into cubes and steam. Stand to side to cool
3. Peel and section jeruk bali, breaking into small pieces
4. Dry roast the nuts and chop into pieces
5. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl
6. Add balsamic dressing just prior to serving and gently toss, avoiding bruising the spinach leaves and ensuring sweet potato retains its shape
7. Transfer into serving bowl
Whilst putting the finishing touches on this story, I bumped into our gorgeous friend Suzanna who lived in Vietnam prior to moving to Jakarta. Suzanna is a big fan of Jeruk Bali (known as Buoi in Vietnam) and she shared these tips:
Use Jeruk Bali to make the famous Vietnamese salad, Goi Buoi. All ingredients are readily available in Jakarta so you can easily add this to your meals repertoire
Use Jeruk Bali in your juices, drinking it either straight or in a mixed juice
In Vietnam, the pith is sometimes used as a hair treatment (You will need to do your own investigation about this – but it’s a great lead, don’t you think?)
Looking to source local goats cheese? Have a read of our post on Rosalie Cheese
Words: Jo Photography: a journey bespoke