Watermelon salad was on the list of my recipes throughout the summer. It’s a salad that pops up on every restaurant menu, blog, and magazine I’ve ever seen, but I wanted to try to develop a more unique version.
To change that, I created this Thai watermelon salad. Every bite is full of salty, spicy, tart and sweet taste.
Be warned that this salad is definitely for the adventurer. Some have difficulty imagining Asian flavors and watermelons, but it’s really tasty.
Although you could only use diced watermelons, I love the combination of crisp cucumber and soft watermelon. You can also trade the cucumber for peppers, tomatoes or radishes if you are not a fan of cucumber. This salad is very versatile, so you can really play around with the ingredients and use whatever you prefer.
The longer the salad sits, the more sauce the watermelon absorbs and the tastier it becomes.
I made this recipe a few times, but only found a seedless watermelon on my last try. Seeds make eating this salad less enjoyable, so I strongly recommend using a seedless watermelon or at least one with very small seeds that you can eat.
I’ve used a touch of orange juice to sweeten the dressing, but if you’re not on a Whole30, honey or maple syrup also works and helps counteract the tartness of lime juice.
This is a fantastic salad for a summer barbecue.
If you’re vegan, you can skip the fish sauce completely or replace it with a substitute that I think has a very similar taste to fish sauce, but it’s made up of coconut aminos, dried shitake mushrooms, and salt.
Thai watermelon salad
Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal, Whole30
4 cups diced watermelon
1 1/2 cups diced cucumber
2 small shallots cut very thinly
1/4 cup of torn fresh mint
1 chili, finely chopped
1/4 cup shredded thai basil
1/3 cup chopped toasted cashews
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon lime peel
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce (omit if vegan)
1 tbsp coconut aminos
1 tablespoon of orange juice
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients for the dressing.
Place the watermelon and cucumber in a large bowl or platter. Top with sliced shallots, cashew nuts, sliced chili, mint and Thai basil.
Pour over the dressing and pour it gently until well mixed. Enjoy!