Grilled Watermelon, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Thai Chile, Sesame Oil, Lime

Adapted by
July 2021
Yield: 10 quarts


Pickled Watermelon Rind:
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 dried bay leaf
5 whole black peppercorns
1 watermelon rind, green removed and cut into ¼-inch slices
Grilled Watermelon:
1 watermelon, rind removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
To Assemble and Serve:
1 Thai chile, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 bunch cilantro stems, brunoised into ⅛-inch pieces
1 small bunch picked opal basil
1 tablespoon crispy garlic
Maldon sea salt


For the Pickled Watermelon Rind
In a small sauce pot, combine vinegar, salt, sugar, bay leaf, black peppercorns, and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer until the sugar and salt have dissolved, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pour warm liquid over top of the watermelon rind. Transfer to a container and store.
For the Grilled Watermelon

Halve the watermelon lengthwise and then halve again to get 4 equal, canoe-shaped pieces. Slice each piece into ½-inch triangles. Drizzle about 4 slices of watermelon with olive oil and season with kosher salt. Place on a preheated grill for about 1 minute per side. 

To Assemble and Serve

Arrange Grilled Watermelon on a round plate. Evenly place Thai chiles on top of watermelon and dress with sesame oil and lime juice. Place 2 tablespoons of Pickled Watermelon Rind on top of Grilled Watermelon. Garnish with cilantro, opal basil, crispy garlic, and salt.