Meatless Monday: Watermelon Poke

Watermelon poke puts a fruity spin on the traditional Hawaiian dish.

My brother and sister-in-law are infatuated with Hawaii for it’s surfable waves, soft, sandy beaches, and clean cuisine – especially poke (pronounced po-kay). The traditional Hawaiian dish is usually made with plump raw tuna and simple seasonings like sesame and soy, but on this Meatless Monday we’re carving another path to the backdoor by using juicy watermelon as the star element. The firm red fruit lends a sweetness to the nutty sesame oil and umami-filled soy for a refreshing spin on the island staple. Cowabunga!

1 small to medium seedless watermelon, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt
Pinch black pepper
2 scallions, sliced thin
½ jalapeno, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
½ to 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Place the watermelon cubes in a large bowl or 6 individual bowls.

Combine the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Whisk until combined then pour over the watermelon cubes. Gently toss to combine and let sit for 20 minutes.

Garnish with sliced scallions and jalapeno, cilantro leaves, and toasted sesame seeds before serving at room temperature.