This spicy, tangy banchan (side dish) is meant to be one of many different flavors and textures on a Korean table, but it’d be just as comfortable next to BBQ and a beer, on top of a taco, or in a lettuce wrap. This recipe is a simplified riff on one of my favorite Korean banchan and uses watermelon rind in place of cucumbers for a spicy, cold, and crisp, watermelon rind salad (soobak kkeobjil muchim). Recipe created by Maggie Moon, MS, RD, brain health nutrition expert, Korean American dietitian and owner of Kimchi Curious, a website dedicated to exploring her cultural roots through the kitchen.
- Trim the watermelon rind. Start with a quarter of the watermelon, refrigerate the rest for another use. Slice into wedges, ~4" wide x 1" thick. Trim away and store red flesh for another use. Remove green outer skin. Cut each wedge rind in half. Thinly slice lengthwise. It will be 4 to 4.5 cups.
- Wilt the rind. In a large bowl, combine rind slices with salt. Transfer to a strainer and place strainer over bowl. Set aside.
- Make the dressing. Meanwhile, measure out and combine the remaining ingredients until smooth.
- Final prep. Pat dry the rind slices. Squeeze excess liquid out by pressing rinds between clean hands.
- Serve. Combine the watermelon rind slices with the dressing. Toss to coat, and serve immediately.
- Optional: Garnish with green onion slices and additional toasted sesame seeds.
You'll have extra watermelon. This recipe works best with regular watermelon because they have more rind than mini-watermelons.
For the best experience only make as much as you'll enjoy in one sitting. Flavors will be best right after combining the dressing with rinds. Dressing and rinds can be prepped and stored
separately until ready to use.