Watermelon Rind Kimchi : Fermented Foods Recipe from “Cultured” by Jill Nussinow

Wednesday Sep 21 | BY |
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Contraindication Warning: Watermelon should not be eaten by those wearing white shirts.

You’re probably thinking exactly what I was when I read this…

I never knew you could use the watermelon rind for anything besides compost!

Well, not true.

Fermented food expert, Jill Nussinow, provided this amazing recipe for “Cultured” and I wanted to share it with you.

Watermelon Rind Kimchi

2 lb watermelon rind
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 tbsp Korean chili powder (see note below)
1 tbsp unrefined sea salt
1 inch piece fresh ginger root
1 tbsp unrefined sugar
2-3 green onions, chopped, or 1 small onion, chopped (optional)


Cut the outer rind off the watermelon, cut into small pieces, put into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for an hour.

Grate the ginger into the mixture, add the garlic and onion. Sprinkle with the chili powder. Using a gloved hand or spoon, toss the mixture until it is well coated with the chili powder.

Stir in the sugar or agave and put into a jar.

Let sit, covered, at room temperature for one to three days, until fermented. Eat what you want and store the rest in the refrigerator for a week or two where it will continue to ferment.

Tips: Buy organic, so that you aren’t eating pesticides or wax. Buy local, so that it tastes great. If you cannot get Korean chili powder, you can use anotherm chili powder or chili flakes, but the flavor will be much different.

If you don’t have watermelon rind, you can do a similar thing with cucumbers, but you want to toss some of the liquid from the salt soak, and then proceed. The fermentation may take longer, too.

Contributed by Jill Nussinow

This recipe is just one of the 70+ found in our new fermented foods recipe book called “Cultured: Make Healthy Fermented Foods at Home.” To get your copy today, visit here: www.renegadehealth.com/cultured

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. hyesun says:

    NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!
    we must be on the same fermentation wavelength!! i bought a local watermelon last sunday and i usually juice the rind (it’s supposed to be really nutritious). but i had so much of it and so much other stuff to juice, that i decided to make watermelon rind kimchi with it. i made it yesterday afternoon and it’s been fermenting for a day now. can’t wait to try it. i usually use fish sauce for kimchi but just used salt for this. and i just brought back organic korean red pepper powder from my month long visit to korea. did you know that’s it’s super expensive, like $60 a kilo????? i had no idea, because my mom or aunt always just gave some to me. anyway, i used a whole head of garlic, which i always do. no sugar though. also, i’ve never done this, but authentic kimchi usually has sweet rice flour/powder in it. i’ll try that one of these days……

    thanks kevin! i’ll let you know how mine turns out! 🙂

  2. Bill Vogel says:

    Really, Kev? You’ve never had pickled watermelon rind? It was one of my favorite treats as a kid. It’s pickled (mostly, I think) in pineapple juice. It’s VERY sweet (I’m sure there was a fair amount of sugar added, as well). Check it out next time you’re in a super market. I have no idea if there’s a “healthy” version of it, but if you find one, let me know!

  3. tim says:

    i love you for this , i started fermenting stuff after your trip videos . when i was a boy 14 i read a book by Dr donsbach and it said eat kraut Daile , i didn’t know it should be raw ,well Ive been fermenting all sorts of stuff since its so simple i just made one with seaweed that’s stellar , imagination is a fun thing ,…peace and love to all…tboi…

  4. hyesun says:

    @ bill (#2):

    i think pickling is different than fermentation, in that it involves heating vinegar, water and a lot of sugar. there’s no heat, vinegar, involved in fermentation, and very little, if any sugar. i do love pickled stuff too though!!

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