KP 027| How to Pickle Watermelon Rind

In a previous video, I demonstrated how to peel and slice watermelon for use on a fruit platter or salad. In this video we’ll take the left-over rind and turn into a versatile condiment by using a fairly straight forward pickling process.

First, remove any remaining red portions of watermelon that are still attached to the rind and then fillet the rind away from the outer skin, which itself isn’t edible.

Once you’ve removed the outer skin, slice the rind into thin strips and pack into clean mason jars. You’ll usually need about 3 12oz mason jars to pickle the rind of one watermelon.

Form here, simply use equal parts vinegar and water (a 1:1 ratio), combine in a mixing bowl, add a little salt for seasoning and enough sugar to subdue the harsh bite of the vinegar.

Fill mason jars with pickling liquid and refrigerate for 24-48 hours before serving. This pickled watermelon rind can be stored in your refrigerator for up to a month.

Now the actual flavors that you use to pickle your watermelon rind can be simple like the above example, or a little more complex. If you want to play around with some more unique flavorings, here are some suggestions:

Replace some or all of the water with fruit juice or other flavored liquids including watermelon, cucumber, sake, mirin, wine, tequila or a combination thereof. Sodas such as Sprite or Ginger Ale could also work.

Replace some or all of the vinegar with acidic juices like lemon, lime or yuzu.

Instead of using granulated sugar as a sweetener, try using honey, brown sugar or palm sugar.

Add spices for added depth and flavor including cayenne, togarashi, black and white pepper, cinnamon, anise, cloves, nutmeg, etc.

Add complimentary flavors directly to the pickling jar including blackberries, tomatoes, basil, cilantro, fennel, jicama, kaffir lime, raspberries, pomegranate seeds and orange peel.

Once finished, use pickled watermelon rind as condiment, serving it alongside barbecued or roasted meats, use it as a topping for tacos and hot dogs, or to garnish any dish that will benefit from a crunchy texture and sweet/sour flavor.

Basic Pickled Watermelon

  • 2 cups Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 cups Water
  • Salt to Taste
  • Sugar to Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • Cayenne or Red Chili Flakes (Optional)

Sherry Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • 2 cups Watermelon Juice
  • 2 cups Sherry Vinegar
  • Honey To Taste
  • Salt to Taste
  • 6 Fresh Basil Leaves per 12oz Jar of Watermelon Rind

Asian Style Pickled Watermelon Rind

  • 1 12oz Jar of Watermelon Rind
  • Sesame Seeds To Taste
  • Togarashi To Taste
Sliced Green Onions To Taste
  • 2oz Mirin
  • 2oz Sake
  • 1 1/2 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Sugar To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix together watermelon rind, sesame seeds, togarashi and sliced green onions. Pack mixture into a clean, 12 oz mason jar.
  2. Combine mirin, sake, vinegar in a mixing bowl and season to taste with sugar and salt.
  3. Pour over watermelon rind and refrigerate for 24-48 hours before serving.

*Note: Each pickling liquid recipe is will yield enough for approximately 3 jars of pickled watermelon rind.

Related Resources

Site Categories
Featured Techniques: 

There is 1 Comment

skflyfish's picture

While I have never tasted pickled watermelon rind, I am curious to try this. I hate wasting any bit of food and this sound like a delicious way not to.


I will let you know in about 60 days when my watermelons are ripe. ;-)