Recipe By Myra L.
Published Jun 20th
Prep 1h Cook 10m Additional 1h Ready In 2h 10m
Servings 8 servings Calories 323

Lower-calorie adaptation of the pork belly and watermelon salad recipe made famous by the Fatty Crab restaurant in New York City. Uses easily acquired ingredients. Still delicious.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 (3 inch) pieces fresh ginger root, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups watermelon rind, white part only, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 (1 pound) package thick cut bacon
  • ½ cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated
  • 12 cups chilled seedless watermelon, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Bring 1 1/2 cups of seasoned rice vinegar to a boil in a saucepan, and mix in the 2 pieces of crushed ginger root, shallots, red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup of light brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir until the brown sugar and salt have dissolved, and remove from heat. Place watermelon rind into a large heatproof nonreactive bowl, and strain the pickling liquid through a fine mesh strainer into the watermelon rind. Stir to combine, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  2. 2 Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop the bacon into pieces when cooled.
  3. 3 For dressing, place 1/2 cup of peeled and chopped ginger, garlic, lime juice, 1 cup of seasoned rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cilantro stems in a blender. Blend on high speed, scraping down blender sides occasionally, until the ginger and cilantro stems are pulverized and the dressing is thoroughly blended.
  4. 4 To assemble, place about 1 cup of watermelon cubes onto a salad plate, and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Top with about 2 tablespoons of the pickled rind, 1 to 2 tablespoons of bacon bits, 1 tablespoon of cilantro leaves, and about 1/2 tablespoon of chopped green onion, or to taste.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 323
  • Carbohydrate 55.1 g
  • Cholesterol 20.5 mg
  • Fat 8.7 g
  • Fiber 2.7 g
  • Protein 10.1 g
  • Saturated Fat 2.7 g
  • Sodium 2461.3 mg
  • Sugar 39.6 g

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Chef's Notes

Buy a large seedless watermelon, and use all the flesh and about half the rind to make the salad.


  1. I followed the recipe without any changes other than leaving the bacon on the side for people to add as wanted - we have a few vegetarians in our extended family. Everyone loved it from the 2 year old to the 80 year old! My 3 teenagers in particular are asking to make it again. - Read more ...
  2. This was refreshing and very tasty. Perfect as a side dish for a summer meal. I used a personal sized melon for the two of us but I would use a regular sized watermelon in the future because the pickled rind was too thin and tough.I would also watch the red pepper amount because it - Read more ...
  3. Completely addictive! We cut the pickle and dressing recipes in half, and used one "personal" watermelon to make 8 servings (use an entire pound of bacon, though -- the bacon really makes the dish!) Be forewarned: the first bite is a little disconcerting, but you'll find that you have to take another... and another...