Asian Pickled Watermelon Rinds

Asian Pickled Watermelon Rinds - The Manly GreenI hate wasting food. Having grown up working on farms and growing food, I know all the hard work that it takes to produce food.

In the US, it is estimated that 25 to 40% of all food that is grown, processed, and transported will never be consumed. It will find its way into the trash or never make its way to a plate. When food is thrown out and sent to a landfill, it rots and turns into methane – a greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

I try to make use of every bit of food I buy and compost what little scraps remain.

Did you know that you can eat the rind of a watermelon? Plain, it taste pretty bad but it can be transformed into something super tasty. These Asian Pickled Watermelon Rinds are a great way to turn waste into food.

This recipe came about after a couple of friends picked a watermelon that wasn’t ready and was nearly all rind. They were going to compost it, but I saw it as a chance to making something delicious. Here’s how:


  • 18 oz watermelon rind
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ½ oz fresh graded ginger
  • 2 whole star anise
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 table-spoon salt


  1. Peel outer portion of the watermelon, leaving the green rind.
  2. For the pickling brine, add water, vinegar, ginger, star anise, coconut sugar, and salt to a saucepan. Heat to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Fill two pint-sized mason jars with watermelon rind and pour the brine over the watermelon, filling near to the top and covering the watermelon.
  4. Seal with lid and mason jar ring and store in your fridge for two days before eating. They will be good for up to two weeks.

As listed, makes two pints.

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These Asian Pickled Watermelon Rinds go well on a salad for a bit of added crunch and flavor. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just end up eating a whole jar by itself.