This Chinese Mayonnaise Fruit Salad is creamy, refreshing, and easy to make. The secret is to salt the fruit for an hour to prevent the sauce from becoming watery.
Can't get enough of Chinese desserts? Try my Chinese Buffet Jello Recipe next!
🍒 About This Recipe
This recipe was shared with me by the owner of a Chinese buffet. I used to eat at his restaurant as a kid, and my favorite dish was always their mayo fruit salad.
Back then, I didn't even know it had mayo in it. It was just super creamy and tasty, especially with the canned fruit. Sometimes, they even used cantaloupe and strawberries.
For this recipe, I recommend using Dole Tropical Fruit Salad in Light Syrup. It contains contains pineapple, yellow, and red papaya.
The most important step is to salt and drain the canned fruit thoroughly. This will season the fruit and ensure the mayo sauce stays thick and creamy.
- Dole Tropical Fruit Cocktail: This is my preferred canned fruit for this recipe, but feel free to use any canned fruit. You can also use canteloupe, honeydew melon, apples, pears, and strawberries.
- Shrimp: We'll need about two cups, peeled and deveined. This will shrink to about 1 cup after cooking.
- Mayonnaise: I find Hellman's brand mayo to give the best flavor, but you can use any Western-style mayo. Avoid Japanese-style mayo at all costs. I've used Japanese mayo, and the fishy taste will completely ruin this dish.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is the secret ingredient that gives a sweet flavor to balance the richness of the mayonnaise.
- Salt: Just a little bit to season the fruit and draw out its moisture.
STEP 1: Drain the liquid from the canned fruit. In a large bowl, toss the fruit with salt, then place it in a colander and let it drain for an hour until completely dry.
A salad spinner will help remove as much water as possible. I drained my fruit for an hour and then ran it through my salad spinner for a good two minutes.
STEP 2: While the fruit is draining, prepare the shrimp. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Let the shrimp sit for about 3 minutes until they're pink and fully cooked. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain.
STEP 3: In a large bowl, combine the drained fruit, mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, and shrimp. Toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.
💭 Recipe Notes + Tips
- This recipe uses 1 cup of mayo. I know it seems like a lot, but don't worry, the salad will not taste like mayo at all. When it's combined with the remaining fruit juices, it transforms into a sweet and savory flavor that is nothing like mayonnaise.
- One of my favorite variations is to eat the fruit salad with crispy wonton wrappers—the crispiness of the wonton chips pairs perfectly with the soft fruit. I recommend air-frying the wonton wrappers.
- Draining the fruit is the most critical step; otherwise, the sauce will get watery. Allow it to stand in a colander for at least an hour, preferably overnight. If you have a salad spinner, you can speed things up even more.
- Shrimp is optional, so feel free to omit it. It's common in the Hong Kong and Cantonese versions, though.
🥡 Storage & Leftovers
Store leftover Chinese fruit salad in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
🍽 More Recipes You'll Love
Chinese Mayonnaise Fruit Salad With Shrimp
- 2.84 liters Dole Tropical Fruit Salad
- 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
- 2 cups raw shrimp (peeled, deveined, and tails removed)
- 1 cup mayonnaise (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- Drain the liquid from the canned fruit. In a large bowl, toss the fruit with salt, then place it in a colander and let it drain for at least one hour, preferably overnight to get rid of all the moisture.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the shrimp. Let the shrimp sit for about 3 minutes until they're pink and fully cooked. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain.
- In a large bowl, combine the drained fruit, mayonnaise, sweetened condensed milk, and shrimp. Toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.