Asian Pickled Watermelon Rinds




About: Environmentalist. Adventurer. Self-improvement seeker. Bourbon / black coffee drinker. Paleo, real food enthusiast with an inner fat kid fighting to get out.

I hate wasting food. Having grown up working on farms and growing food, I know all the hard work that it takes to produce food.

In the US, it is estimated that 25 to 40% of all food that is grown, processed, and transported will never be consumed. It will find its way into the trash or never make its way to a plate. When food is thrown out and sent to a landfill, it rots and turns into methane – a greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

I try to make use of every bit of food I buy and compost what little scraps remain. Did you know that you can eat the rind of a watermelon? Plain, it taste pretty bad but it can be transformed into something super tasty.

These Asian Pickled Watermelon Rinds are a great way to turn waste into food. This recipe came about after a couple of friends picked a watermelon that wasn’t ready and was nearly all rind.

They were going to compost it, but I saw it as a chance to making something delicious. Here’s how...

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Step 1: Gather Ingredients

Gather the following ingredients:
  • 18 oz watermelon rind
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ½ oz fresh graded ginger
  • 2 whole star anise
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 table-spoon salt

Step 2: ​Peel Outer Portion of the Watermelon, Leaving the Green Rind. Then, Chop Into Cubes

Step 3: For the Pickling Brine, Add Water, Vinegar, Ginger, Star Anise, Coconut Sugar, and Salt to a Saucepan. Heat to a Simmer and Stir Until the Sugar Is Dissolved.

Step 4: Fill Two Pint-sized Mason Jars With Watermelon Rind and Pour the Brine Over the Watermelon, Filling Near to the Top and Covering the Watermelon.

Step 5: Seal With Lid and Mason Jar Ring and Store in Your Fridge for Two Days Before Eating. They Will Be Good for Up to Two Weeks.

Preserve It! Contest

Runner Up in the
Preserve It! Contest



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    9 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Can I process this recipe & turn it into canned pickled watermelon rinds? If so, will I have to use a pressure cooker or can I process simply in a water bath?


    3 years ago on Step 2

    Hi, just wanted to say hey and will give this a try, Why not the green part?Looking forward to end results. Yes I like to truly live in the now,what ever is in your ability to put together and make happen from our kitchens.

    No problem. They're delicious and I have a hard time keeping myself from just standing in front of the refrigerator and eating a whole jar.


    3 years ago

    great! I'm kinda sad, as I just cut up watermelon rinds last night to make a rind pickling instructable for the contest! We are using a different process, so I'll post it anyway! good luck :)

    1 reply

    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is fantastic with bacon wrap in a broiler....appetizer...yummy


    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is really interesting! I've never heard of it before! The watermelon that you used, it looks like it's just not ripe. Is that true or did you use some other kind of watermelon?

    1 reply

    You are correct! Typically, you would make this with leftover watermelon rind. These photos, however, are from when two friends, who were new to gardening, picked a watermelon that was not ripe. Rather than see the watermelon be tossed, I scooped it up, salvaged the watermelon, and made pickles.