Ya'll. I found this recipe in the July Issue of Bon Appetit. Yes, I subscribe to Bon Appetit and it's the best decision I made in 2016. Having a monthly issue of all things food related come to my doorstep keeps me creative and motivated to try new recipes, step outside my comfort zone and I always learn so much.
So when I picked up July's recipe the first page I turned to was in the back (anyone else read magazines backwards?) and it landed on this watermelon poké recipe. Watermelone poké? Yes, you heard me right.
After being in Hawaii for 2 weeks in June I ate a lot of poké and it was incredible. I didn't even get sick. Sometimes I had in two times in one day and it was amazing #noregrets. So when I saw the recipe in Bon Appetit, I knew I had to make it. I kind of freaked and texted my friend (we had already had plans to cook dinner) the recipe and told her to come over STAT. Then, we got to cooking.
This recipe is super easy to make but it does require a little pre-prep. You need to marinate the watermelon for about 4 hours before you sear it. Searing the watermelon over high heat gives it an entirely new depth of flavor and makes you feel like you are eating real poke! Also, the cream sauce on top is finger-lickin' good. This is the perfect summer recipe.
I of course made mine gluten free by replacing the soy sauce with liquid aminos. I didn't have ume plum sauce so I omitted it completely.
Sesame-And-Soy Watermelon Poké
Marinating and searing the watermelon concentrates its flavor and primes it for this savory treatment.
3 pounds seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons liquid aminos
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 scallions, white and pale-green parts, thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
Place watermelon in a large resealable plastic bag. Purée rice vinegar, oil, liquid aminos, lime juice, tahini, honey or maple syrup, and plum vinegar (if you have it) in a blender until smooth. Pour over watermelon, seal bag, and chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Remove watermelon from marinade; set marinade aside. Cook watermelon, tossing often, until lightly caramelized and dried out, 6–8 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, 12–15 minutes.
Chill watermelon and sauce separately at least 1 hour.
To serve, toss watermelon with sauce; taste and season with salt as needed. Top with scallions and cilantro.
Do Ahead: Watermelon and sauce can be made 12 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.