Chilled Watermelon Ramen

watermelon-benefits , Pattern with ripe watermelon on pink background. Top View. Copy Space. Pop art design, creative summer concept. Banner. Half of watermelon in minimal flat lay style
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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1889 Calories
168g Fat
88g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1889
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 168g 215%
Saturated Fat 24g 122%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 8399mg 365%
Total Carbohydrate 88g 32%
Dietary Fiber 11g 41%
Total Sugars 47g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 152mg 761%
Calcium 242mg 19%
Iron 9mg 52%
Potassium 1323mg 28%
*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.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size watermelon, cut in half lengthwise, one half cut 4 cups of watermelon into 1/2-inch cubes, rinds reserved, other half reserve for broth 

  • 20 ounces (2 10-ounce bottles) Kikkoman teriyaki sauce

  • 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

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons black pepper

  • 2 fruit (2-3/8" dia) lemons

  • 3 medium (4-1/8" long) scallions

  • 3 cups bean sprouts

  • 4 package ramen noodles

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

  • 1 cup watercress, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  3. Combine olive oil, vinegar, onion and garlic powders, oregano, basil crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and lemon in a large bowl and mix well. Reserve 1 cup for rind slaw.

  4. Using a julienne peeler, scrape the insides of the reserved watermelon rind until you have four cups of rind slaw.

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

  6. With a large spoon, scoop the flesh of the remaining half of the watermelon almost to the rind (see FAMILY STYLE note below) and add to a food processor or a blender. Working in batches, purée the fruit then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a pitcher or large pourable container.

  7. To the pitcher of strained watermelon juice add the 3  cups of Italian vinaigrette. Mix well, cover and refrigerate.

  8. Bring a large pot of unsalted water to boil. Drop one package of noodles at a time into the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove cooked noodles with a strainer, run under cold water, and place noodles inside of a bowl. Repeat with remaining packages of noodles.

  9. To serve, top noodles with watermelon poke, watermelon rind slaw, cucumbers, watercress, and sesame seeds. Lightly shake or stir the watermelon broth mixture. Pour broth low to the bowl and slowly so that it will not disturb the toppings. Serve chilled. 

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.