Watermelons can be found virtually in every part of the world. It is much loved in the tropical countries because it is a great way to counter the heat.
I love having watermelon juice after a workout session as it is so refreshing and it helps to replenish your glucose levels.
Very often, we would discard the rind after consuming the flesh. I did that all the time until recently.
The watermelon rind is edible and is supposedly good for the body. I read this on Oprah’s website that a USDA study showed that the white rind offers a high dose of citrulline, an amino acid that helps dilate blood vessels to improve blood circulation.
Apart from its health benefit, it does taste really good after you pickle it. I first read about using watermelon rind on Not Quite Nigella’s blog and I was greatly fascinated. Shortly after, I had it as a side served with chicken thighs cooked over charcoals in Bangkok. And I was completely sold on these pickles.
You should really try the pickles with barbecued food. Its texture and sharpness in acidity cuts through the smoky and oiliness of barbecued food.
The brine that I use is the one from David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook. I love this cookbook and wish that I have attempted more recipes from it but one of the section that I always go back to is the section on pickling.
The pickled cucumbers with chilli is something that appears on my dinner table very often. It goes very well with Asian rice and dishes.
Now that I’ve shared with you a delicious way of using up watermelon rind, perhaps the next time when you buy a watermelon, you would give these pickles a go instead of discarding the rind.
Recipe: Pickled watermelon rind
Makes a large glass jar of pickled watermelon
Adapted from David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook
For a refreshing side dish to pique your appetite, the pickled watermelon rind is a sure winner. You can also serve it with grilled meats or add them into a hearty pork shoulder sandwich Also, it is a good way to use something that you normally wouldn’t think twice about discarding.
You can also make watermelon rind jam by checking out Lorraine’s recipe, a recipe that I hope that I’ll get around to it soon.
rind of 1/2 large watermelon
For the brine:
1 cups hot water
1/2cup rice wine vinegar
6 tbsp granulated sugar
2 and 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 star anise, optional
1. After removing the flesh of the water melon, use a Swiss peeler to remove the dark green skin of the watermelon wedges.
2. Cut the watermelon rind into 1 cm by 1 cm cubes. It is okay to have a little of the red flesh on.
3. Place the cubed watermelon rind into a pot and fill it with tap water. Add in two big pinches of salt and bring the water to a boil.
4. Allow the water to boil for about 3 – 5 minutes (depending how soft you like it) before turning of the heat and draining the watermelon rind in a colander.
5. Prepare the brine by mixing all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt before adding the rind to it.
6. Once it is done, store the rind and the brine liquid (it should cover the top of the rind) in sterilised glass jars (mason jars work well) in the refrigerator. You can begin eating them in a few hours but they are best served after standing overnight in the fridge.
*To sterilise the glass jar, wash the jar and lid with hot water and soap. Rinse well and place the jar in a preheated oven at 160 degrees celcius for 10 minutes or until dry.
*The pickled watermelon rind will keep for for a week in the fridge.