Looking for a way to use up watermelon rinds? Here’s a delicious way to make Japanese-style pickled watermelon rinds!

I love pickles of all kinds- but by far my favourite are pickling watermelon rinds! They’re like cucumbers, but sweeter making it the perfect snack or side dish.

How to Make Pickled Watermelon Rinds

The Ingredients (+ substitutions)

  • Watermelon Rinds
  • Salt: you need about 2% of salt of the total weight of watermelon rinds
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Maple Syrup: or with sugar
  • Japanese mustard powder: or mustard of choice
  • Sesame oil

Variations

Here are some additional ingredients and seasonings you can add!

  • Soy sauce
  • Kombu Mentsuyu
  • Garlic cloves
  • Hawk claw pepper: for an
  • Black pepper: for slightly spicier version
  • Olive oil: instead of sesame oil, swap for olive oil for a different aroma

The Directions

  1. Wash the outside of the watermelon well. Slice the green parts off and then slice into equal sized pieces of your choice. Place in a reusable bag or large ziplock bag and add 2% of salt of the total weight of the watermelon (in this case, 18g). Rub the salt in and shake the bag. Place in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, remove 90% of the water in the bag. Add the rice vinegar, maple syrup, mustard powder and sesame oil. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

More pickles to try:

SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓

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Pickled Watermelon Rinds


Description

Looking for a way to use up watermelon rinds? Here’s a delicious way to make Japanese-style pickled watermelon rinds!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 lbs of watermelon rind (907g)
  • 18g (2% of watermelon rind weight) salt
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 22 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 tsp Japanese mustard power
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil (or olive oil)

Optional add-ins:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp kombu mentsuyu
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 hawk claw pepper (Takanotsume chili pepper)
  • dijon / regular mustard instead of Japanese mustard
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the outside of the watermelon well. Slice the green parts off and then slice into equal sized pieces of your choice. Place in a reusable bag or large ziplock bag and add 2% of salt of the total weight of the watermelon (in this case, 18g). Rub the salt in and shake the bag. Place in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, remove 90% of the water in the bag. Add the rice vinegar, maple syrup, mustard powder and sesame oil. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Helpful Equipment: pickling jars, reusable bags
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 

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Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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18 Comments

  1. Amazing! So delicious and refreshing! The flavor and texture are fantastic! Such a simple recipe and a great way to reduce food waste!!!

  2. I love this recipe and have made it a bunch of times. Excited that it’s watermelon season again! I reuse the brine a couple times and it works great.

  3. I usually love the southern-style (US) pickled watermelon rinds, but this is SO MUCH EASIER and tastes way more interesting. I leave less of the red of the watermelon on because it gets a little slimy after storing the pickles for a few days.

  4. This is my grandma’s taste! In south part of Japan, there is kind of culture that they use the food maximum in order to not waste the food, especially, my grandma’s generation. Lisa’s recipe reminds me my young memories in local town. Absolutely, high recommended to make it! Delicious and less waste food !yay!

  5. these watermelon rinds were sooo good! i’ve been trying to reduce my food waste and these picked rinds were perfect! they’re also super easy to make:)they were so yummy and refreshing. seriously the perfect palate cleanser !

  6. I’m not vegan, but I find myself visiting this blog whenever I want to eat clean. Tried these pickled watermelon rinds last week, and they’re def gooood! Thank you for sharing, Lisa! 😊🍉

  7. When I read some comments about these pickles being better than the actual fruit itself, I assumed it was an exaggeration. Spoiler alert – it’s not. As a two person household, I use to hesitate to buy a whole watermelon (also because they’re so expensive in Japan!) but thanks to these pickles, I don’t any longer. Obviously, I enjoy the fruit itself but these pickles are next-level. I used homemade fermented mustard in place of the powder but otherwise followed the recipe exactly!

  8. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe this year and I can’t stop craving it! I think I like pickled watermelon better than pickled cucumber now!