I really had a great time coming up with recipes for a watermelon contest recently! I had never considered cooking with watermelon rind and was so surprised once I tried it out how delicious it could be! I've seen pickled watermelon rind before, but had never tasted it since it just sounded strange. Once I started looking at it, when the green peel was cut off the white rind reminded me of one of my favorite Thai dishes- Som Tum. Som Tum is a Thai slaw that uses julienned unripe green papaya, so I decided to swap that out with the watermelon rind.
Let's make Mai Tai's and share a bowl of this yummy Thai salad!
20 fresh green beans
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup watermelon puree
½ cup jalapeno pepper jelly
1 ½ pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1 ½ Tablespoons fish sauce
1 ½ Tablespoons brown sugar
4 cups julienned watermelon rind (white part only)
10 halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup cilantro leaves
2 thinly sliced green onions
1 thinly sliced fresno chile pepper
Fill a small mixing bowl with ice water and set aside. Bring 5 cups of water up to a boil in a medium sauce pot over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook for 3 minutes. After three minutes, drain the green beans and add them to the ice water to cool.
Return the same sauce pot to the stove, and add the oil, garlic and ginger. Cook over low heat for 5-7 minutes. Add the watermelon puree and jalapeno jelly, and allow to simmer until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
Season shrimp with salt. Heat a large grill pan or outdoor grill over high heat. Grill shrimp for 2-3 minutes per side until pink. Once they are cooked, add the shrimp and soy sauce to the warm glaze and stir to evenly coat.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar. Gently toss the julienned rind, tomatoes, cilantro, green onion and chiles to the dressing.
Divide the slaw into 4 serving bowls. Top evenly with shrimp and serve immediately.