A true alchemy occurs when watermelon is baked and then cured in a flavorsome broth—it is a freaky and delicious raw-tuna copycat. You can prepare the watermelon the night before and let it do its thing in the fridge overnight.
Mind-Blowing Watermelon Sushi [Vegan]
For the Watermelon Sushi:
- 1/4 small seedless watermelon
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided
For the Marinade:
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
For the Sushi Rice:
- 1 cup short-grain rice or sushi rice
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pickled ginger to serve
For the watermelon:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- For the watermelon sushi, cut two 4 x 1-inch blocks from the fruit without the skin.
- Add 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil to an ovenproof dish and place the watermelon blocks inside.
- Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven to turn the watermelon over before returning it to bake for another 10 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t brown. Remove from the oven to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, combine the tamari, mirin, sesame oil and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
- When the watermelon has cooled slightly, pour the marinade over the top, cover with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes before placing it in the fridge for 1 hour minimum or overnight.
For the rice:
- Rinse it under cold water in a strainer until the water runs clear. Drain well and transfer to a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add the cold water and bring it to a boil over medium to high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender, around 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the rice to a glass or wooden bowl. Combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a separate bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. While gently tossing the rice, add the vinegar mixture and stir through. Cover the rice with a clean, damp cloth and cool to room temperature.
- To assemble the sushi, form a handful of the sushi rice into a 2-inch long and repeat with the remaining rice. Take the marinated watermelon and slice it on an angle to mimic sushi tuna before laying it over the rice. Top with pickled ginger to serve.