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Plate of deliciously grilled watermelon and cucumbers tossed in a Thai dressing on a white plate with a red and white polka dot napkin.
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5 from 12 votes

Grilled Watermelon Salad (Thai Style + VIDEO)

Thai Style Grilled Watermelon Salad is a refreshing fun easy summer recipe with grilled Watermelon and cucumbers and a simple Thai dressing.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time21 mins
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Calories: 157kcal
Author: HWC Magazine

Equipment

  • Grill or Grill pan

Ingredients

Thai Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (if you do not have just add a little bit of salt to balance the dish)
  • 1-2 chili peppers
    chopped (as desired to you heat liking). We used Thai bird chilis

Salad Fixings

  • 2.5 pounds watermelon
    or about 6 slices or 4 cups (horizontally slice watermelon and leave on the rind)
  • 2 cucumber
    small (deseeded, cut into lengthwise quarters -leave the skin on)
  • 1 tablespoon oil olive oil to coat the cucumbers and grease the grill or grill pan
  • salt if desired, add to cucumbers while on the grill.
  • 2 shallots or small red onion sliced (or can use green onion chopped if you like)
  • 5-6 radishes sliced thinly
  • 4 mini sweet peppers sliced (optional)
  • cup basil (chopped or whole)- if you can find Thai Basil fantastic otherwise just exchange with regular sweet Italian basil and its just as delicious.
  • cup cilantro chopped or mint leaves if you prefer
  • lime zest garnish - optional (if desired)
  • salt and white pepper to taste if desired

Instructions

Prepare Watermelon

  • Step 1: Wash and dry your outer watermelon well. (Dry it well as you do not want a slippery watermelon)
    Step 2: Grab a good and sharp butcher’s knife or in our case our Chinese cleaver.
    Step 3: Choose a heavy-duty table with a large cutting board. Make sure your cutting board is held firm to the table. If not, a quick hack is to place a slightly damp dish cloth underneath the cutting board to keep it stable.
    Step 4: Cut the watermelon in half. Set aside one half. (It is best to put the pointy end of the knife in the skin to get it started and then slowly rotate the knife and your melon around to cut all the way through) Now, you should have 2 halves of watermelon.
    Step 5: Lay the watermelon’s cut side down on the cutting board.
    Step 6: Cut 2-inch slices across the watermelon. Turn 180 degrees and slice 2-inch slices in the opposite direction. (Bravo and well done! You have made watermelon sticks)
    Check out our quick and easy video below. We have included a step-by-step easy watermelon cutting hack.

Prepare Cucumbers

  • Leave the skin on the cucumbers. Wash well. Cut ends off. Slice cucumbers lengthwise so they are about the same length of you watermelon sticks. Remove seeds with a spoon. Slice lengthwise again.
  • Toss the cucumbers in a little olive oil.

Make the Thai Dressing

  • Mix lime juice, fish sauce and chili peppers together and set aside.

Grill and Combine

  • Clean and oil your grill or grill pan with a little oil. Preheat grill to a medium high heat.
  • Grill Watermelon and cucumber slices on the grill for just about 2-3 minutes on each side just to get a slight grill marks. Remove from grill. (We like to add a little salt to taste to the cucumbers while they are on the grill. )
  • Place the grilled watermelon and cucumbers sticks on a serving platter. Top with radishes, shallots and sweet mini peppers . Drizzle on the Thai vinaigrette dressing, basil and cilantro (or mint). Garnish with a little lime zest if desired.
  • Serve your Thai Grilled Watermelon Salad at room temperature or chilled to your liking. enjoy!

Video

Notes

Thai style grilled watermelon salad is best made and served the same day. However, you can slice the watermelon, cucumbers, cut up your other vegetables and make your Thai dressing up to 24 hours in advance. Then if hosting a gathering, all you need to do is grill and assemble.  
Substitution Ideas for dietary needs
Watermelon – Seedless is the best as this will save you time picking out all the seeds. There are many different varieties of watermelons and sizes. Our watermelon weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds! Technically speaking, you could really use any type of melon for this recipe such as a honeydew, muskmelon (cantaloupe), rock melon and the list goes on.
Cucumber – We prefer the baby cucumbers or seedless cucumbers if you can get your hands on them. However, as the these were twice the cost, we chose the regular cucumbers and removed the seeds. Use what you have is always our motto!
Fish Sauce – this funky sauce is what gives this watermelon fruit salad the savory component. If you want to keep this recipe vegan just add salt to taste. On the other hand, to keep this recipe gluten-free, there are many gluten-free fish brands on the market like Red Boat that work well.
Lime – Fresh lime juice is always best, but you can also substitute with lime concentrate if needed. (The kind in the little squeeze bottle) In addition, grating a little lime zest to garnish at the end is unbelievably delicious.
Chilis – We used Thai bird chilis for this recipe. However, you can substitute with your preferred fresh or even dried red chili flakes to give it your level of desired heat . (Jalapeño, serrano, etc.) Please note that each type of chili has their own Scoville scale. Thai bird chilis are not for the faint of heart. They might be little, but they certainly pack a punch!
Fresh Herbs – Italian basil, Thai basil, mint, and watermelon salad with cilantro is so refreshing.
Crunchy Vegetables – this is the perfect time to access your crisper and use what you have. We choose radishes, onions, and peppers but anything goes here. Just a fun little extra crunch for texture.
Balancing the Flavors:
Please adjust the ingredients to adjust to your preferred flavor profile. If you want it more savory- add more fish sauce or salt. On the other hand, if your watermelon is not very sweet for some reason, you can add a little bit of honey or sugar alternative of choice to the Thai dressing. Want it more spicy? Add more chili. If you want a little more sour- add a little more lime juice. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 364mg | Potassium: 663mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 2709IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg