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…
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.
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!
- 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
- 2 Tablespoons Korean chili flakes (gocharu)*
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 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.
- Put the watermelon in a storage container. Add salt and toss to combine.
- 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.
- Pour the mixture over the watermelon cubes, and toss to combine. Refrigerate for a couple hours and then toss again.
- 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.
*The amount of gocharu in this recipe is modest and is used to contrast the sweetness of the watermelon. If you prefer a more authentically spicy flavor, you will need about 1 cup of Korean chili flakes.
Keywords: kimchi, watermelon rind, korean, condiments, pickles