Asian Pickled Watermelon Rind

Watermelon is one of my favourite fruits. While there are 1200 varieties of watermelon grown in 96 countries all over the world, the five main types are seedless, seeded, yellow, orange, and mini. The United States is the 7th largest producer of watermelons in the world and Canada imports over 300 million pounds each year, making the fruit available all year round. In addition to being a great source of hydration and nutrients, I really like how the entire watermelon is edible, including the rind!

My mom first made pickled watermelon rind for me when I was little, and I thought she was just experimenting, but it was actually a recipe from her childhood and a dish that I always wanted to make myself. This recipe for Asian Pickled Watermelon Rind is spicy, sour, salty and sweet. I love the extra prickliness from the Sichuan peppercorns and it’s an addictive side dish to congee, perfect sliced thin in a sandwich or as a crunchy snack. Cutting the rind is a bit of extra effort, but it’s worth it and a great way to reduce food waste.

How to Cut Watermelon to Save the Rind?

  • Wash and scrub the watermelon under cold water and pat dry
  • Cut the watermelon in half across the middle into halves and then half again into quarters
  • Cut the watermelon quarter crosswise and slice each eighth into one inch thick slices, working from the middle flat side to the point
  • Lay each slice down flat, and cut off the dark watermelon skin and red watermelon flesh from the rind, making sure to leave only the hard crunchy portion
  • For more watermelon recipes, information and tips, check out

    Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with The National Watermelon Promotion Board. All ideas and opinions expressed are wholly mine.

    Asian Pickled Watermelon Rind

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Yield: 4 cups


    • 4 cups trimmed watermelon rind
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 cup white vinegar
    • 4 dried red chilies
    • 1 knob of ginger, sliced
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns


    1. Trim watermelon rinds, cutting off the dark skin and any soft, pink flesh until only the hard crunchy rind remains. Cut rinds into 1inch by 1/4inch segments.
    2. In a small pot, add the sugar, star anise, vinegar, chilies, ginger slices, salt, Sichuan peppercorns and bring brine to a boil. Stir. Once the sugar and salt has dissolved, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
    3. Fill an airtight container with the trimmed watermelon rinds leaving space at the top. Once the brine is cooled to room temperature, pour over the rind until it covers the top completely. Spoon the Sichuan peppercorns, star anise and chili peppers on top.
    4. The pickles will be ready after 12-24 hours and will keep refrigerated for at least two weeks or more.

    Asian Pickled Watermelon Rind
    Asian Pickled Watermelon Rind
    Asian Pickled Watermelon Rind

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