Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Watermelon Rind Kimchi



When I was 7 years old, I attempted to carry a huge watermelon that is sitting on our kitchen countertop. Just like any other curious kid, I carried it anyway although I know it’s going to be heavy. Before I even had the chance to carry with my short arms and small hands, the watermelon just slipped and plummeted onto the ground. And when I looked down, they were split into two. The first thing I did was to cry out loud. My brother was there and he brought me to see dad who was in his room watching television and he told dad what happened. I thought dad’s going to be angry with me but he wasn’t. He understood. That story is a classic.

Last Sunday, my brother John and his family brought us a huge watermelon as his “Easter egg” present for us. Since the temperature is rising, watermelon is a great way to cool down the body. But in Chinese medicine, you’re not allowed to eat it when you are suffering from cough because of its’ warm nature. I would say it’s because of the gritty texture upon swallowing.


I have about 4 ½ pounds of watermelon rind and throwing them away would be a huge waste. You can peel the watermelon by cutting the ends first and peel the skin with a knife or you could cut the watermelon into pieces before you separate the flesh from the rind and peel it. It's just a bit time consuming. I usually juice the watermelon rind along with celery and carrots or cucumber but since my juicer broke down many months ago, I kept the rind in the fridge first. Making pickles out of this rind would be a great way to use it but I ended up making a kimchi out of it. I think it’s another serendipitous moment.

I prepared this kimchi somewhat different from the Napa Cabbage Kimchi. After salting the rind and allowing it to sit for an hour or so, I added the rest of the ingredients without draining or rinsing the watermelon rind. The liquid from the rind will act as a brine for the mixture. I am also using pink Himalayan sea salt for this kimchi which provides added minerals. I forgot to mention from my other kimchi post that it’s important to taste your mixture after you make them. You probably know that already. Then, the following day, you have to taste it again and check whether the kimchi needs to be fermented a little bit longer. That would be according to your taste.




Since the tropical heat can dry our newly laundered wet clothes in just two hours, I fermented my watermelon rind kimchi for just 1 day which is recommended so the rind will be crunchier than the day before. My sister-in-law prefers this one compared to the Napa Cabbage Kimchi because the Watermelon Rind Kimchi is more flavorful and spicier with the addition of Thai chili powder. You can also do the same thing with small cucumber and Korean radish and varying the ingredients by adding some small salted shrimps. I also added some whey (a highly recommend ingredient in lacto-fermented foods) to each bottle so there's enough liquid to cover the mixture. I'll do a post about whey in the future. In the meantime, enjoy this kimchi.



Watermelon Rind Kimchi

Makes enough kimchi to fill about 2 bottles of 500 gram jars

4 ½ lbs watermelon rind
2 tbsp unrefined sea salt

1-inch piece fresh ginger root
5 cloves garlic
6 green onions (Philippine size)
1 small onion (optional)

1/3 cup Korean chili powder
1 tbsp Thai chili powder
2 tbsp honey

To prepare your ingredients, cut watermelon rind into cubes and place in a large bowl. Add the salt and toss to combine. Then set it aside for about 1 hour to draw the moisture out of the watermelon rind. Then, peel and grate the ginger, and finely chop the garlic and green onions, and cut the onion into medium dice.

To prepare the kimchi, add the ginger root, garlic, green onion and onions to the bowl with the watermelon rind. Then, add the Korean and Thai chili powder, and the honey. Wear a disposable glove and toss the mixture for about 5 -7minutes. Taste the mixture and add more chili powder or honey according to your taste. Transfer to 2 glass bottles. Cover and leave at room temperature to ferment for one to three days.

Notes:

Gluten-Free; Vegetarian; Dairy-Free (if whey is not used)

A must -read: Lessons from Watermelon Kimchi
  • Make sure to cut off the soft flesh from the rind so that the kimchi will remain its crunchiness.

Enjoy!!

Love and light,


Print Recipe


48 comments:

  1. My mom loves Kimchi. She is going to love this recipe.

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  2. When I was under going chemo I would eat watermelon to sooth my dry mouth.

    I have a recipe for watermelon rind pickle but I've never seen it used as Kimchi. Sounds interesting Divina.

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  3. You're very creative, making the waterlemon rind into kimchi. I bet this is definitely crunchy and tasty.

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  4. I like pickled watermelon rind...they are actually more crunchy and delicious than the other kimchi.
    Excellent click!

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  5. I am crazy for kimchi and this really caught my eye when I saw your tease on Twitter. Wow. My mouth is watering at the thought. I'll have to wait a while to get a good watermelon here, but when I do...this is going to make my summer. I'm actually not sure I can wait until our watermelons are super ripe. I suppose the rind will be great anyway.

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  6. I am making this! I have a big watermelon. Aint wasting the rind :)

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  7. My goodness, this is an awesome post! Never tried something like this before. So tempting to try this! Thanks alot for sharing. You're always my sunshine! hehe...

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  8. Very resourceful! You leave nothing to waste! Looks so refreshing...but then again, I'm not a kimchi fan ;)

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  9. I am now thinking of watermelon rind in ways I have never before. Think this post is not only tasty, but a beautiful testament to food's possibilities.

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  10. I love your story.. even though I haven't seen you, I could imagine you cry and scream when the watermelon slipped your hand.
    Using watermelon rind is something new to me. I would imagine it to be juicy and crunchy at the same time... would love to try it!

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  11. What a unique kimchi with watermelon rind, I can't wait to give it a try!

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  12. I think Filipino-size green onions would be what are recognized as chives elsewhere :) I love this - I wouldn't have imagined it were possible.

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  13. What a great idea! Here in Texas it is popular to make pickled watermelon rind, but I like your spin on it even more. And it is so beautiful it would be a fantastic gift. Now we just have to wait for our watermelons to grow in the garden!

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  14. Wow, what a great idea! I love that nothing went to waste with this watermelon!

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  15. another wonderful kimchi recipe!

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  16. What a great idea to use up an entire watermelon. I have heard of watermelon rind pickles but not this. I actually just got some Himalayan pink salt from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I never thought of how many minerals it would add to something like this. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. wow great kimchi idea and your brother is funny for doing that!

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  18. Ah, the patience of a parent. Love the story!

    And I love the kimchi! I've always wanted to try pickling watermelon rind, but this sounds even better!!! You are kimchi queen!

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  19. Wow, great way to use the watermelon rind...looks so tasty...great to have it handy in the fridge :-) Great pictures as well!

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  20. What a lovely twist on traditional kimchi! I love pickled watermelon and cannot wait to give this a try.

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  21. Watermelon with kimchi…wow outstanding combination, I need to try it!

    Have a great week,

    Gera

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  22. Lovely story Divina, your pictures are beautiful.

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  23. So what do I need to do to score a jar of this delicious kimchi? 8-)

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  24. Wow! How creative! and i am Korean.

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  25. I love this Divina! I've never even attempted to make kimchi but if I do, this will be the first recipe I try!! Super yum!

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  26. How clever, I feel like such a big waster now for throwing away all my rind over the years.

    I also have a watermelon destruction story. We had a very big one on our kitchen bench, and a little 5 year old me was playing with it, rolling it around. The inevitable happened and I suddenly found it smashed all over the floor, and I don't quite remember but I'm sure I must have cried over it. From that day forward I have been known as "Watermelon Killer". Watermelons beware.

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  27. Oh great kimchi, never thought of using watermelon though, not that I thought of making my own kimchi, very creative way to use watermelon.

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  28. Oooh wow! I just all of these kimchi recipes you're making. Makes me feel brave enough to give it a go. Thanks Divina!

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  29. I have eaten stir fried watermelon rind...very delicious. But never thought of making it into kimchi. Beautiful colour. Must be delicious.....healthy too. I hardly buy watermelons here. I have never succeeded in buying a sweet one!! Isn't that disappointing?

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  30. This looks so good. I love it when sweet meets spice, and in Kim Chi? Wowzer! Would this be nice with Adobo? Being pinoy (in Melbourne) I miss mum's cooking since I moved out of home. Mine just isn't the same! LOL

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  31. This is beautiful, Divina. What a wonderful way of using watermelon rind!

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  32. I've never used the watermelon rind before, we always throw it out, what a great recipe.

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  33. The colors on this are SO intense, I love it - how could anyone not want to eat something so bright and beautiful?

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  34. Very creative! I'll have to give this a try.

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  35. Watermelon rind in kimchi... very exciting! Love to try with steamed rice :)

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  36. I'd really like to try this kimchi and I'm saving the recipe. It looks delicious!

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  37. I love watermelon, I never even thought that watermelon rind is edible.. great idea turn it into kimchi. Thanks Divine, I learned something new from you again.. :) Happy Easter!

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  39. This is something that I haven't seen before! What a great idea not to waste!! Kimchi is nice... yum :)

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  40. I would have never ever ever thought of watermelon rind Kimchi. It looks gorgeous and I'm so curious about the taste. I think this summer when I get a watermelon I'll give it a try :D

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  41. Very very nice Divina -- I love that you used watermelon rind in Kimchi, the only versions I've ever eaten was made from Daikon. I love that it is a creative way to use the most of the fruit, I always find it wasteful to throw away all the rinds, who knew they could be made into a delicious side dish?

    Your pictures are stunning, really really stunning.

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  42. What a wonderful and creative idea, Divina!
    It's not watermelon season yet here in Canada, but when summer arrives I'd love to give this a try.
    It is such a waste to throw out the watermelon rinds (as I usually do) since they are edible.

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  43. Very resourceful! You leave nothing to waste! Looks so refreshing...but then again, I'm not a kimchi fan ;)

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  44. It's been quite some time since I last dropped by and I notice that you've changed the colour and style of your blog. I really like this one.
    And the watermelon rind kimchi ..... never thought of eating the watermelon rind, let alone know that it can be so versatile. Thanks for sharing. Lovely clicks too!

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  45. That's so clever Divina! And what a great idea to get a giant watermelon instead of chocolate for Easter too :)

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  46. kimchi is one of my favourite food in korea,
    it is so healthy and nutricious for body

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  47. This is not an original thought. I've had this many times years ago.

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