pickled watermelon

Pickled watermelon sounds a bit quirky, but try it. It’s got the lovely flavours of fennel, star anise and chilli (which gives it a little bit of a kick). It is a delicious addition to salads and on any of my curries, particularly the coconutty ones. I also like to serve it on top of grilled halloumi or on toasted sourdough with feta, because it’s a brilliant marriage with cheese.


Makes one large jar.


750g of watermelon
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper corns
1/2 tablespoon of salt
1 whole star anise
a knob of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 a red chilli chopped finely
1/2 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup of coconut sugar, or sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 glass jar



In a small pan, place the sugar with the vinegar, chilli, ginger, salt, star anise, water, peppercorns and fennel seeds. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes or until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Set aside.

Next cut the green peel carefully off of the watermelon leaving as much of the white flesh as possible. I use a potato peeler. Cut into small slices, chunks or shapes. Place the watermelon pieces into a small pan of boiling water and gently simmer for about ten minutes.

When cooled place the drained watermelon in the glass jar and tip the infused brine/syrup over it. Seal and store in fridge. Best left for a day for all the flavours to do their thing. Keeps for up to a week.

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