The rind itself is not very digestible at first; peeling and salting help break down some of the fiber, which then allows lactic acid bacteria to do a more efficient job of fermentation after which you’ll have a firm yet tender texture. It very juicy, tart and spicy—infused with garlic, ginger and Korean chili. It goes so well with meats and vegetables. I like it along side my tuna or chicken salad sandwich. So what are you waiting for? Run out, get a watermelon and save that rind. If you’re not quite ready, you can keep the rind refrigerated for about a week in plastic bag. make something that your family will enjoy at the table.
Watermelon Rind Kimchee
- 4 cups water melon rind, peeled and sliced into 1" strips
- 1/4 cup + 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dried Korean chili flake (gochucaru)
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh ginger, julienned into 1" matchsticks
- 1 sheet of nori (gim in Korean)
- 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame seed (optional)
- brine: 1 cup water
+1 tbsp sea salt
In a large bowl mix rind with 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup sea salt, sesame seed (optional), sliced garlic, ginger and onion. With a spatula mix with 1 cup dried Korean chili flake until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Place nori sheet over the top, cover bowl with a paper towel and allow to rest at room temperature for three to four days. Taste daily—when it starts to sour, transfer to an air-tight container (large mason jar). Gently press contents down to remove air and force liquid to the top. Cover with brine to a depth of 1/2" over contents. Refrigerate for at least five days before serving.
Be sure to remove the nori from your serving portions; you can return it to the container or discard. This kimchee will keep optimal texture and flavor for roughly a month—after which it might be too soft to handle. For Hawaiian-style kimchee mix with crushed pineapple, prepared hijiki seaweed and a little toasted sesame oil when serving.