Watermelon Ceviche

Adapted by StarChefs.com
May 2022


Cured Watermelon:
50 grams salt
50 grams sugar
5 grams ground dried fermented habanero chiles
100 grams watermelon flesh medium diced
Corn and Buttermilk Leche de Tigre:
40 grams dried shrimp
300 grams corn, grilled, juiced, and strained
13 grams lemongrass
23 grams ginger
1 clove garlic
30 grams ají charapita amarillo
100 grams buttermilk
Pink-Peppercorn-cured Swordfish Lardo:
10 grams lemon thyme
10 grams pink peppercorns
250 grams salt
250 grams sugar
2 pounds cleaned swordfish belly
Scallop Garum:
453.6 grams scallop
181.44 grams salt
Pickled Watermelon Rind:
6 grams salt
4 grams sugar
118 milliliters watermelon vinegar
100 grams small diced watermelon rind
Meyer Lemon Oil:
15 grams Meyer lemon peel
300 grams neutral oil
5 grams salt
To Assemble and Serve:
(Yield: 1 dish)
5 grams Meyer lemon segments
Sea salt
6 to 7 picked tips of flowering coriander or lemon thyme


For the Cured Watermelon

In a metal mixing bowl, mix to combine salt, sugar, and habanero. Add watermelon and cover with cure liquid. Let sit 10 minutes. Remove watermelon and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

For the Corn and Buttermilk Leche de Tigre

In a blender, combine shrimp, corn, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and ají charapita amarillo. Blend until smooth then pass through a fine mesh strainer. Return mixture to the blender, add butter milk and 130 grams ice, then blend until smooth. Keep cold.

For the Swordfish Lardo

In a bowl, mix to combine lemon thyme, peppercorns, salt, and sugar. Roll the swordfish belly in the dry mix to coat. Place swordfish in a vacuum bag and seal. Reserve swordfish for as long as you can, 1 week to 1 year. Freeze the day before using.

For the Scallop Garum

Heat the water bath of an immersion circulator to 104°F. Add scallop, salt, and 453.6 grams water to a vacuum bag, seal, and cook sous vide for 7 days. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and reserve.

For the Pickled Watermelon Rind

To a saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, salt, and 38 milliliters water. Stir until salt and sugar dissolves. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add watermelon vinegar, rind, and 80 grams ice. Let pickle at least 8 hours (or overnight).

For the Meyer Lemon Oil
In a blender, add all ingredients. Blend until the mixture reaches 135°F. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve.
To Assemble and Serve

Using a deli slicer, thinly slice 1 to 2 grams Swordfish Lardo. In a bowl, mix to combine Meyer lemon segments 65 grams Cured Watermelon, and 10 grams Pickled Watermelon Rind; season with sea salt. Spoon mixture into a stoneware serving bowl. Top with 40 grams Corn and Buttermilk Leche de Tigre. Add 2 grams  Scallop Garum, followed by Meyer Lemon Oil. Dress with a bit of the pickling liquid from the Pickled Watermelon Rind. Cover with the Swordfish Lardo slices and garnish with flowering coriander or lemon thyme