Chilled Watermelon Ramen Recipe

Chilled watermelon ramen in bowl

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2081 Calories
178g Fat
101g Carbs
25g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 2081
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 178g 228%
Saturated Fat 29g 147%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 9626mg 419%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 29mg 147%
Calcium 189mg 15%
Iron 10mg 53%
Potassium 962mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

My inspiration draws from many years back. Watermelon was the financial backbone for African Americans after slavery. We grew them, sold them, and made a living off them. And through this creation, I'm sharing my views on the evolution of watermelon through the years. Watermelon is a summertime favorite, from salads to BBQs and now chilled ramen. During my time developing this dish I learned that chilled-watermelon soup is also popular in Korea and China. 

My chilled-watermelon ramen is a mix between a southern summertime bbq and the earthiness of Asian flavors. The broth is the main attraction, freshly pressed watermelon juice mixed with a classic Italian vinaigrette that pairs so well with the ramen noodles. The watermelon poke is marinated in a teriyaki sauce.

Absolutely nothing will go to waste with this recipe as the watermelon rind is used to create a slaw. It is a mixture of julienne rind, bean sprouts, and scallions dressed in the classic Italian vinaigrette.

Servings are garnished with watercress to add a crisp green bitter note to balance the sweet and deliver a flavorful bowl of unique ramen.

“This chilled watermelon ramen was so refreshing and packed with tons of flavors. Bean sprouts and cucumbers add a crunch and watermelon poke balances the flavors beautifully. I also tried the watermelon broth separately as a salad dressing and it was amazing!” —Bahareh Niati

Chilled Watermelon Ramen/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 medium watermelon, halved lengthwise; cut 4 cups of 1/2-inch cubes from this half, reserve the second half (and any remaining watermelon from the first half) for broth, reserve rinds

  • 2 (10-ounce bottles) teriyaki sauce, preferably Kikkoman

  • 3 cups olive oil

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder

  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 4 teaspoons dried basil

  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, more as needed

  • 3 medium scallions, julienned

  • 3 cups bean sprouts

  • 4 individual packages ramen noodles, fresh, frozen, or dry

  • 1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise, dressed with a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped watercress

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    chilled watermelon ramen ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Combine cubed watermelon and teriyaki sauce in a large bowl. Gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

    watermelon cubes in bowl with marinade

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, onion and garlic powders, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and 2/3 cup lemon in a large bowl. Reserve 1 cup of dressing for the rind slaw.

    olive oil and other ingredients together in large glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Peel the green skin from the rind. Cut the rind into small, manageable pieces. Using a julienne peeler, scrape the sides of the rind to yield 4 cups of slaw. Add the rind to another large bowl.

    rind of watermelon peeled of skin and julieneed

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. To the bowl of julienned rinds, add the scallions, bean sprouts, and the reserved 1 cup of dressing. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate.

    julienned watermelon rind with scallions and bean sprouts in bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. With a large spoon, scoop the flesh of the remaining half of the watermelon almost to the rind (see FAMILY STYLE note below). Add to a food processor or a blender. Working in batches, purée the watermelon.

    pureed watermelon in bowl of food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a large pourable container.

    pureed watermelon being strained through fine mesh sieve over glass pitcher

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. To the watermelon juice add the remaining 3 cups of dressing. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate.

    dressing being poured into pitcher of watermelon puree

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  9. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to boil. Cook the ramen according to package directions. Drain, run under cold water until cool.

    cooked ramen drained in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  10. Divide the noodles between 4 bowls. To serve, divide the watermelon poke, watermelon rind slaw, cucumbers, and watercress. Lightly shake or stir the watermelon broth mixture. Divide the broth between the bowls, slowly pouring it low to the bowls so that it will not disturb the toppings. Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve chilled. 

    watermelon ramen in bowl with watermelon poke, cucumber slices, and veggies

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Recipe Tips

  • GOT NOODLES? If a Japanese or Asian market is not available to you, you can source fresh noodles at Sun Noodle or Whole Foods. 
  • SAVE TIME! If you prefer using store bought Italian dressing, 2 (15-ounce) bottles will do. I use Kraft Italian dressing.
  • NO JULIENNE PEELER? You can use the most corse side of a grater and use long strokes for the rinds to achieve the julienne look.
  • NOODLES NEED SPACE! Be sure to use a large pot to eliminate the water from overflowing due to the alkaline content of ramen noodles. 

More is More

  • PROTEIN I add barbecue pulled ribs or pulled pork as it pairs well with the watermelon but steamed shrimp, lump crab, and barbecue chicken would also work.
  • EVEN MORE FLAVOR Infused oils are a perfect finisher like chili or sesame, and really any way you like to finish your ramen.  
  • FAMILY STYLE Use the scooped out watermelon half as the serving bowl and portion at the table. Be sure to leave a 1/4 inch of the red flesh on the rind when scooping for the broth.

Leftovers?! Okay...Store Them

  • BROTH can be kept in a refrigerator in a tightly closed container for up to 5 days. 
  • NOODLES Only cook the noodles you need. Cooked noodles can be kept separately in a container for up to 2 days.
  • POKE can be kept in a refrigerator in a tightly closed container for up to 5 days. 
  • SLAW can be kept in a refrigerator in a tightly closed container for up to 3 days.