It's watermelon season, and there's tons of "how-to-watermelon" posts and videos popping up everywhere, so here's one more!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
You will need:
- watermelon, of course
- tea towel, to soak up the mess
- 2 different sized knives:
- large chef's knife to cut it open
- smaller paring knife to cut it out
Wash your melon with soap and water! Even though you're not eating the skin, it might have soil-borne bacteria that will contaminate your knife, and thus the fruit inside, as you cut into it.
Then cut a tiny slice off each end.
Step 3: Make 2 to 4 Cuts
Don't try to slice it through the way you would a steak, unless you have a machete and you are The Hulk. Instead, rotate the melon, and pull the knife down. You should be able to get reasonably even slices...
Step 4: Use the Small Knife
Use the small knife to cut around the ring. Use short, straight cuts all the way around; it's much easier than trying to make one round cut.
Just pop the circle of melon away from the rind!
Step 6: Cut It Up. Get Creative!
Cut it however you like. Break out the cookie cutters! Get crazy!
But not too crazy... people want their watermelon!
If you do want a ton of cutesy shapes, you can freeze the leftover scraps for watermelon sorbet.
Step 7: And the Two Ends? Watermelon Bowls!
The bowls are the prized parts at my house. Just take a spoon and dig in! Usually one or both will be eaten immediately. But you can cover with plastic wrap for later if you like. The slices taken off at the beginning will keep them from wobbling.
Step 8: Ta-da! Neatly Cut Up Watermelon With No Mess.
The juices will have soaked into the towel, so there's virtually no clean up. Hang it up somewhere to dry, and throw it in the laundry. I used to spend more time mopping up the juices than I did cutting the melon!
Step 9: Bonus Tip: Choosing a Good Watermelon
Look at the "underbelly". That's the part the melon has been sitting on all this time as it matures. The color will range from pale green, to ivory, to yellowish, with the pale green being the least mature. Therefore, you will want a melon that has a dark yellow underbelly, because that means your melon has been allowed to ripen on the vine and will be sweeter and full of juice.
Step 10: Extra Bonus Tip:
Make a mix of kosher salt with Sriracha, Sambel Olek, or other hot sauce of your choice, and dip your melon in it as you eat, but very sparingly! I know it sounds weird, but it will blow up your taste buds! (In many Asian countries, this is as common as sprinkles on ice cream might be for you)
(You can also use it with other tropical fruits, like pineapple, guava, and green mangoes)
Hope this was helpful! Happy eating!