Sriracha Watermelon Salad

Newsletter - Jun15 - WatermelonI feel like this is cheating. Not like cheating on a big test or a diet, but that feeling you get after hearing a great idea and you repeat it to everyone you know hoping they think you’re a genius for coming up with it. Ok, I guess there are many absolutely original food ideas outside of some culinary abominations; I am looking at you Basashi Aisu. I read this recipe and knew I had to use it. Now that it’s summer, it’s absolutely time to mix the hot with the cold in the form of Sriracha Watermelon Salad.

For those of you who aren’t in the know, Sriracha is the Thai chili pepper sauce that has experienced a huge explosion in popularity around the world. One way to tell is that you can find it on market shelves in Hungary outside of the Asian market or Culinaris; if it’s in your local CBA, its gone mainstream. Made from a paste of chili peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt, Sriracha originates from the Thai coastal town of ‘Si Racha’; adding a blast of hot and salty to any dish. I first became acquainted with Sriracha a decade ago finding a ginger version of it in my local Asian market at Rákóczi tér and it’s been in my pantry ever since.

Watermelon you may have already heard of so we won’t go into it here. Mixing the two together was a stroke of brilliance that I wish I could claim was my own. Below is my take on someone else’s super idea.

Sriracha Watermelon Salad

  • 6 cups cubed watermelon (seeds removed) *Go the extra distance by searing large pieces of watermelon on the grill before cubing it.*
  • ¼ cup / 60 ml crumbled greek feta cheese
  • ¼ cup / 60 ml unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • handful of chopped, fresh basil

For the dressing

  • 2 Tbsp / 30 ml Sriracha hot sauce (Don’t use Piros Arany or Erős Pista as they are far too salty)
  • 1 Tbsp / 15 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp / 15 ml honey
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ⅛  cup / 30 ml olive oil
  1. Dressing – Combine the Sriracha, vinegar, honey, and pepper to a small bowl with a whisk. Incorporate the olive oil and beat until smooth.
  2. Plate – Divide the melon onto plates, sprinkling each with some of the feta, peanuts and basil. Drizzle with the desired amount of dressing and eat.

Did you know?

  • Sriracha is sometimes referred to as Rooster, or Cock, sauce due to the founder who put his zodiac sign on the bottle for the ‘year of the Rooster’.
  • The magazine ‘Bon Appetit’ came up with 25 delicious recipes using the hot sauce. There’s even a cookbook dedicated entirely to the condiment.
  • An assembly line cranks out 3,000 bottles an hour, 24 hours a day, six days a week. That’s roughly 200 tons per week and 20 million bottles a year.
  • Griffen Hammod even made a documentary about it.
  • Watermelon has more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color.
  • Watermelon is both a fruit and vegetable related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash.
  • In Japan they grow cubed watermelon.
  • Watermelon doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C and is a good source of potassium.
  • Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
  • You can pickle the rind of the melon for an excellent accompaniment to roast beef or grilled hamburger.

*Special thanks to NextCare Urgent Care for the inspiration from their newsletter for this recipe.