Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #35: I Pickled Watermelon Rinds And I Liked It

I have never had pickled watermelon rind, but this afternoon I was loathe to toss rinds from a delicious hunk of fruit.  I know the rinds are edible, but not exactly high on the yum scale.   I asked my friend Dr. Google and she said normally it can take days to prepare and can them, but there is a way to get a quick vinegar based pickle that takes minutes to prepare and ready in as little as a couple of hours.


I got the recipe from Kitchen Riffs  who got it from Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan.

You need vinegar (rice wine vinegar recommended), sugar, salt, water, star anise, and ginger.   There are substitute suggestions if you don’t have star anise or ginger.      For this method it is okay to have some red flesh on, but peeling the skin is recommended to avoid the bitterness.  This is not a lacto fermentation pickle, so it is quick but with a vinegar profile.    I am a fan of quick pickles for instant gratification, but a proper pickle method has its merits.

Prep: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour cooling, and overnight chill.
Servings:  1 quart
Storage time: about a week and a half.


  • 1 quart (2lbs) watermelon rind cut into spears or 1-inch pieces. Peel and toss the, thin hard green skin. ( ½-inch of red flesh left on the rind is a bonus)
  • 1 cup vinegar (rice wine vinegar;  cider vinegar, plain white vinegar, or champagne vinegar)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar (or 3/4 if you desire a little less sweetness)
  • 2½ teaspoons table salt or 3¾ teaspoons Kosher salt (can reduce salt to taste as desired; salt is a preservative so don’t expect long shelf life with less)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped or sliced (can substitute ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon or small piece of a cinnamon stick)

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, star anise, and  ginger (or powdered cinnamon) in a medium-sized saucepan.  Bring to boil, stirring to dissolve.  Add the watermelon rind.  Return to boil; simmer for 1 minute.  Remove  from heat; cool for one hour.  Transfer watermelon rind and liquid to a 1-quart plastic container or canning jar. Can be eaten sooner, but chill overnight for best results.

Flavor profile options:  garlic, mint, cloves, mustard seed, hot green chilies, cayenne pepper, candied ginger, and allspice.




Patience is required for the mixture to chill.   The flavor is delightfully tart but sweet with a glorious, surprising crunch.    At first my taste buds were confused, but then I had a hard time stopping myself from eating the whole lot!


What say you?   Yay or nay?



5 comments on “Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #35: I Pickled Watermelon Rinds And I Liked It

  1. this abundant life
    June 10, 2015

    I’ve been wanting to try this! Every time I throw the rind into the garbage, I feel like I am missing an opportunity! Thanks for sharing. I’ve got a watermelon on my counter right now and we will soon be enjoying watermelon rind too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aware of the Void
    June 11, 2015

    That looks amazing, I will give this a try – thanks for posting

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laissez Faire
      June 11, 2015

      Hope you report back with how you liked them. I am curious. My husband declared them weird, but not unpleasant. He has major texture issues, so that is high praise. Lol


      • Aware of the Void
        June 11, 2015

        My wife call me weird but not unpleasant…….I will let you know as soon as I give this a go.

        Liked by 1 person

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