Watermelon Poke


    Watermelon season is upon us, and I never tire of eating it, even during foggy summer days in San Francisco. Like the fog in July, watermelon is synonymous with summer for me. Instead of offering another spin on my beloved watermelon salad recipe or last year’s watermelon ice. I wanted to go the savory route for this year’s National Watermelon Day on Wednesday. My inspiration for this watermelon recipe is my husband’s recipe for tomato poke, a vegetarian version of the beloved Hawaiian raw fish salad. He swapped fresh tuna for juicy, diced Roma tomatoes in his recipe. Since watermelon tastes delicious with savory seasonings like Tajin, salt, or pickling brine, I decided to swap in watermelon. The results were delicious! Easy. Fast. The perfect accompaniment to just about anything grilled. Enjoy!


    • 2 cups cubed seedless (preferably on the less ripe side) watermelon, cold
    •  1 /2 cup diced yellow sweet onion, yellow onion or two stalks of green onion
    • 1-2tsp low-sodium soy sauce
    • ½ tsp sesame oil
    • ½ tsp Hawaiian sea salt or Kosher salt (for crunch)
    • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from half of a lemon
    • Optional add-ins: togarashi seasoning, furikake seasoning, crushed chili flakes.


    1. Combine all the ingredients and any/all optional add-ins in a bowl and stir.
    2. Taste for salt and add more soy sauce, as needed.
    3. Eat right as is or chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
    4. Scoop into bowls and enjoy.

    Recipe Tips/Ideas

    I prefer watermelons that are not as ripe for this recipe, as they are less watery than ripe ones. 

    Change it up: Change the melon or the onions. Add crumbled dried seaweed.

    For an adults’ only version, increase the heat with fresh chopped chilis or more chili flakes. Tajin seasoning, though non-traditional, would be a nice addition as well,

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    Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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