It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with seafood, so this recipe may come as a surprise to some of you. When I saw the Watermelon Poke with Sesame and Soy recipe in Bon Appétit magazine, I wanted to give it a shot. But, why would anyone even consider replacing delicious ahi tuna with watermelon?
One major concern I had about this recipe was not knowing what the texture of the watermelon would taste like. Good ahi tuna is deliciously smooth and practically melts in your mouth. I wanted that same texture from the watermelon.
1. The watermelon needs to chill in the sauce for about 4 hours (or up to 12 hours).
2. Separate the watermelon from the sauce using a slotted spoon so you can cook the watermelon separately until it’s slightly caramelized. This helps achieve a very similar texture that you would expect from tuna. I was really impressed with the texture and the garnish of scallions and cilantro pull everything together.
This recipe came at the perfect time too, because it gave me a chance to try out my new Vitamix S55 (out of stock on the Vitamix site, but available on Amazon and also comparable to the Vitamix S30) from their personal blender series. The sauce is nothing less than magical and comes together super quickly with this machine. It’s powerful, efficient and doesn’t take up too much space in our kitchen.
I hope you give this recipe a try. Bon Appétit knows what they’re doing.
WATERMELON POKE WITH SESAME AND SOY
- 3 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Kosher salt
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cilantro sprigs for garnish
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Place diced watermelon in a large resealable plastic bag.
- Purée rice vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, tahini (or peanut butter) in a Vitamix until smooth.
- Pour mixture over watermelon in the plastic bag and seal the bag.
- Let chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Remove watermelon from the marinade using a slotted spoon and set marinade aside.
- Cook watermelon, tossing often until lightly caramelized, about 6-8 minutes.
- Bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan.
- Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
- Chill watermelon and sauce separately at least 1 hour. Note: Watermelon and sauce can be made 12 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
- To serve, toss watermelon with sauce and top with cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds.
If you can't find tahini try using 1 tablespoon of peanut butter instead.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.
Disclosure: This post was in collaboration with Vitamix. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep me cooking, styling and shooting.