Pink Grapefruit Dessert Salad with Shiso + Wasabi

The sweet and bitter juices of a grapefruit are refreshing on their own, but when doused with a dressing of olive oil, simple syrup, shiso, and wasabi, it’s magic. I know the wasabi may strike you as odd, but trust me on this. The flavor is not overpowering, but just adds to the feeling of a cool spring breeze.

I had a hard time characterizing this dish—sounds like a salad, but tastes more like a dessert. To help me decipher the salad vs. dessert issue, I opened the question up on Facebook (I keep forgetting to mention you can find me on Facebook and Twitter now. Let’s be friends!) and Clement further added to my conundrum by suggesting the flavors may function more like an apértif or amuse-bouche than a salad or a dessert. Whatever you may label it, I think you’ll agree it’s delicious!

Pink Grapefruit Dessert Salad
Adapted from Gochiso, Spring 2012
Makes 2 servings

2 pink grapefruits
1/2 cup (100ml) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100ml) water
5 shiso leaves, plus 2 leaves for garnish
1/4 tsp. wasabi paste (from a tube)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch of salt

Make a simple syrup by putting the water and sugar over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and set aside. Cool in the refrigerator.

Add the cooled simple syrup, shiso, wasabi, olive oil, and salt in a blender (I used a hand blender) and blend until there are miniscule bits of shiso floating.

Prepare the grapefruit by sectioning (as shown here) or peel the skin carefully by hand. Assemble segments on a plate and pour the dressing on top. Garnish with shiso leaf.

This entry was posted in Contemporary Recipes, Favorites, Salads, Sweets, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    I was looking up shiso recipes on Tastespotting (it is just starting to pop up in the garden) and your gorgeous Tomato and Shiso Salad came up! Then I clicked on your home page and saw this. Both recipes sound delicious and will be bookmarked for later enjoyment. :)

  2. Posted May 18, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Kristen, thanks for stopping by! Both recipes are among my favorites, so hope you try them soon!

  3. Posted May 24, 2012 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    It looks gorgeous and sounds extraordinary! I would have never even dreamt of combining these ingredients together. I am never disappointed with your dishes, so I will certainly try this one too.

  4. Posted May 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Sissi, it’s a really unusual combination, but hope you like it!

  5. Teramo
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I tried this and decided to make small variation. Instead of using simple syrup I used a good organic maple syrup (I use Rouge organic maple syrup) and it was unbelievably good!! I think the maple flavor adds another level to this dish. However if you are thinking about trying it, use only organic maple syrup as it has a cleaner and lighter taste (and is healthier as well of course)…organic maple syrup can be hard to find depending where you are but you can get the one I mentioned online at

  6. Posted May 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Teramo, that sounds tasty—I love the idea of using maple syrup! I’ll definitely try this the next time. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog today! I was looking for japanese recipes with grapefruit. I’m so happy I bought that grapefruit yesterday and decided to try something different with it. I love Japanese food and have pretty much established my diet based on it. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    The Curly Oenophile, thanks so much for stopping by! Japanese food can be healthy and delicious, so hope you can find many recipes to try on this site. Happy cooking!

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