This watermelon recipe may seem a bit ‘out there’, but trust me, it’s both easy and delicious! Sashimi is thinly sliced raw fish eaten with a soy sauce dressing, this alternative, plant based version recreates the meaty texture of fish with baked and reduced watermelon. The flavour is an irresistible sweet and salty combination and we love this simple showstopper with rice, noodles or dumplings, steamed veg and a seaweed salad.
Our mini watermelons are best for this recipe, they are smaller and more intense in flavour, and have smaller pips than the big ones. Then all you need is a sachet of umami paste (or make your own marinade by mixing miso with soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chilli) and some toasted sesame seeds. Read on to see how easy this dish can be, and let us know in the comments if you give it a try.
Preheat your oven to 190C and line a baking dish with baking parchment.
Using a large, sharp knife, peel the watermelon. Cut both ends of first to create a flat, stable surface.
Place the peeled watermelon in the baking dish and bake in the oven for at least 2 hours.
Every half hour, take the watermelon out of the oven and turn it over so that it cooks evenly on all sides.
Once the watermelon is reduced and blackened all over it is ready for its marinade.
Liberally brush the umami paste all over the watermelon. Get as much of it on as you can. At least half of the sachet which is about 75g.
Return the watermelon to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Then carefully move the hot watermelon to a board or plate to cool slightly before thinly slicing.
Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and eat hot or cold.
10. I served ours with a seaweed salad, pot sticker dumplings (which I will share in another blog post) and steamed aubergines with a simple dipping sauce of orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, grated garlic and ginger and extra toasted sesame seeds. It was delicious!
The watermelons on our list right now are super-sweet, organic of course, and the perfect size! Add one to your next order and try my Greek-style watermelon salad, it’s the most refreshing thing you’ll eat this year! Perfect as is with a slice of bread to mop up the juices, or as part of a BBQ.
You’ll need black olives, red onion, feta (or make my plant-based feta using the recipe from my book below), cucumber, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar/lemon juice and herbs. Find all the certified organic ingredients to your next order here. We deliver to every address in Ireland.
Ingredients (serves 4+)
1 red onion
2 or 3 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
4+ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
black pepper to taste
1/2 a cucumber
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
1/4 – 1/2 of a watermelon
1 pack of feta
1/2 a jar of black olives (ideally kalamata olives)
fresh mint, parsley, basil as you like
Peel, halve and finely slice the red onion and break the thin strips up into a bowl. Add the vinegar or lemon juice and allow the onions to steep and blush crimson pink for 20 minutes or so. The longer you leave them, the more pickled and bright pink they will go.
Add the olive oil, optional oregano and black pepper and stir well. Alternatively you can wait to add the olive oil and pepper at the end.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds (don’t throw them away, add them to a smoothie), cut into bites and scatter into a large salad bowl or platter.
Halve or quarter the plum tomatoes and add them to the bowl.
Cut the watermelon into bite sized chunks, removing any seeds as you go, and get it into the bowl too, along with any juices on the board.
Cube up the feta and tear the olives in half and add them to the bowl.
Add the lightly pickled onions and all the juices. If you have not added olive oil yet, add a generous drizzle now.
Gently mix the salad without bashing up the ingredients too much.
Taste and if you like, add some salt (the feta and olives usually bring enough salt to the party).
Just before serving, tear over plenty of fresh herbs – basil, mint, parsley… I usually add an extra drizzle of delicious, peppery extra virgin olive oil too. Enjoy!
And here’s the tofeta recipe. It’s so easy to make. Just drain 2 packs of this extra firm tofu really well – really squeeze out as much water as you can – blend with all the ingredients and allow to set in the fridge overnight.