Category: condiment



Hello there, funky friends!  It’s been a little while. Between opening a new concept- local friends, check out Halo Halo Snack Shack for Miami’s only authentic Asian shaved ice desserts; and waiting for my dear husband (who happens to be not just the executive chef read more

Roasted Sesame Dressing

Roasted Sesame Dressing

It’s time we settled the old Hellman’s vs Miracle Whip debate once and for all; Japanese mayo is the best mayo hands down. Richer, thicker, and with more yolky goodness than its American counterparts, it is essential to this Roasted Sesame Dressing. (And this Potato read more

Watermelon Rind Kimchi

Watermelon Rind Kimchi

Watermelon Rind Kimchi? Well, I love watermelon. We eat an embarrassing amount in our house. We even used to have watermelon eating contests…and not even as a fun thing to do with our kids. Just me and my husband, don’t judge. But with copious amounts of watermelon, comes copious amounts of watermelon rind. Seeing the inside of the garbage can made me feel a little guilty. So I took some inspiration from the South and came up with this Watermelon Rind Kimchi. This quick crunchy side dish is perfect as an Asian condiment but equally at home on a summer table with BBQ, grilled foods, and other hot weather eats.

So next time you cut up a watermelon, don’t throw out that rind! This Watermelon Rind Kimchi adds bright, spicy sweet flavor to anything it touches. Cutting down on food waste has never been so easy and delicious…

ingredients watermelon rind kimchi

Making Watermelon Rind Kimchi

Watermelon Rind Pickles are a Southern tradition. They are made in the same way that you might pickle cucumbers- using a salt brine with vinegar and classic pickling spices. My version takes a detour through Korea, adding gochugaru, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. This is not a traditional kimchi by any means but has many of the same flavors. It’s more like a mashup between kimchi and a pickle. You know how I love a good mashup! I start by prepping the watermelon rind.

peel watermelon kimchi rind

pieces watermelon rind kimchi

It’s important to cut enough of the outer skin off so you don’t have tough pieces that are hard to chew. There’s plenty of rind on a watermelon, so don’t be afraid to skin a little more deeply than usual. Also, depending on how much watermelon flesh is left on the rind, your pickle will be a little more sweet or a little more savory. I love the color contrast and I’m also one of those who cuts out only the reddest part of the watermelon, so my rind is always very colorful.

Now it’s time to make the dressing. This is a quick little vinaigrette using familiar ingredients. It shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes to whip up.

I like to serve this watermelon rind kimchi with anything that could use a little blast of acidity. Try it as a side with some simply grilled fish,  Omusubi Rice Balls or Korean Fried Chicken. Honestly I love to just snack on them right from the fridge, they are so refreshing!

Give them a try and let me know what you think. You can rate and comment on the recipe below, and don’t forget to tag us in your beautiful food pictures @funkyasiankitchen, we love seeing your creations!


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recipe watermelon kimchi

Watermelon Kimchi

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: condiments
  • Cuisine: korean


  • 2 1/2 pounds watermelon rind, about ¼ of watermelon with the red edible flesh removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gocharu)
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Peel the outside skin off of the watermelon. Cut the rind into 1 inch thick pieces. Cut the rind “sticks” into ½ inch cubes. You should have about 6 ½ cups of cubes.
  2. Put the watermelon in a storage container. Add salt and toss to combine.
  3. Mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, chile flakes, sesame seeds, and black pepper together in a cup and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. 
  4. Pour the mixture over the watermelon cubes, and toss to combine. Refrigerate for a couple hours and then toss again.
  5. Let the watermelon rind kimchi marinate for at least 4 hours before serving though it is best the next day. It will last in the fridge for about 1 week. Serve cold. 

Keywords: kimchi, watermelon rind, korean, condiments, pickles

Eggplant Dip

Eggplant Dip

Got a bumper crop of eggplants? This Eggplant Dip is an effortlessly delicious way to use them up! The eggplant gets broiled until the flesh is meltingly tender, with the slightly charred and smoky flavor you’d get from the grill. Without the whole standing outside read more



Way before Everything Bagel seasoning took the food world by storm, Furikake had been seasoning rice for generations of Japanese people. Though it’s still used mostly for rice, it enhances nearly everything it touches, and there isn’t much we can’t sprinkle it on. From avocado read more



Ponzu sauce is a fundamental Japanese condiment. Its versatility is unmatched-use it as a dipping sauce, a marinade, even the base of a salad dressing. When my parents first opened a restaurant in Miami in the 70’s, this was the recipe they used. Over 40 years later, this is still the ponzu sauce we use in our restaurants today. And like anything homemade, it beats the bottled stuff by a mile. Once you taste it, you’ll never want to purchase it again. The bracing tartness is offset by the most intense smoky umami mouthfeel. Sounds like a sound bite for some snooty wine right? Well homemade ponzu may just blow your mind in the same way. And it’s so simple to make, the most difficult ingredient is patience-the longer you let it sit the better it will taste. So let’s get to it!

ponzu ingredients

Ponzu = Umami Bomb

A jolt of saltiness, a punch of tartness, and a hint of smoky ocean….ponzu seamlessly combines all of these flavors in a perfectly balanced sauce. The magic lies in a few key ingredients. Lemon brings sweet/sour notes, rice vinegar provides sweet tanginess, and kombu and katsuobushi add a smoky touch of the sea. Soy sauce anchors all of those flavors with its salty depth. Unlike many ponzu sauces, ours does not contain any sugar or mirin. If you prefer to have a milder flavor, you can add a couple teaspoons of sugar or a tablespoon of mirin.


Making Ponzu

Once you have these ingredients, it couldn’t be easier or more straight forward to make your own ponzu.

kombu ponzu

soy ponzu

This is where it gets hard. Your ponzu sauce will smell so good, you’ll want to start using it right away. But good things come to those who wait, and while you can start enjoying it in a day, it will be so much better if you wait a week. The ponzu mellows out as it sits and steeps. We usually make ponzu sauce in 5 gallon quantities at the restaurants and leave the kombu and katsuobushi in the container the entire time, pouring off the sauce as needed. But for smaller quantities at home, it’s easiest to strain it. So after a week, strain the ponzu into a clean container, being sure to press down on the solids to get out every savory drop.

This recipe yields about a cup but you could easily double or triple it if you would like to keep it on hand. It keeps for weeks in the fridge.

How to Use Ponzu

It would be much easier to list those few things that a drop of ponzu wouldn’t enhance. At the restaurant, we use it in both our tuna and beef tataki. It’s the traditional dipping sauce for hot pots, like Shabu Shabu. Ponzu pairs well with fried foods and fatty grilled fish, cutting through the richness. Almost anywhere that you would pour in a little soy sauce for a blast of flavor, ponzu would be excellent. Marinades. Dipping sauces. Stir fries. The possibilities are endless.

Add a dollop of your homemade ponzu to:

Let me know the ways you find to incorporate this classic condiment into your life. Leave a comment below, rate the recipe, and of course tag us in our pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!





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ponzu recipe card


  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: condiment
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ rice vinegar
  • juice from 1 lemon, strained of all pulp and seeds
  • ½ cup packed katsuobushi (about 10 grams)
  • 1 piece kombu (4”x4” about the size of your hand) cut into several pieces


  1. Combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, katsuo bushi, and kombu in a container.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 2 days but preferably for 1 week. Strain through a colander, pressing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
  3. Transfer ponzu to a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use. The sauce keeps for several weeks.


*This recipe makes a traditional ponzu sauce, which does not include any sugar. If you find it too bracing for your taste, add a teaspoon of two of sugar to mellow the flavor. You can also add a Tablespoon of mirin which will also tame some of the bite.

Keywords: ponzu, asian condiments, soy sauce, japanese