• Philippine Grilled Watermelon and Pork Belly Salad with Watermelon Rind Relish

    Ingredients

    Pork Belly

    Yield: 8 servings

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Pork belly, raw, uncured, skin removed
      3 lb.
    • Sugar
      ½ cup
    • Watermelon juice
      1 cup
    • Rice vinegar
      6 Tbsp.
    • Dark soy sauce
      3 Tbsp.
    • Fish sauce
      3 Tbsp.
    • Lime, juice of
      1 ea.

    Watermelon Rind Relish

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Watermelon rind, peeled, cut into ¼ dice
      1½ lb.
    • Light brown sugar
      6 Tbsp.
    • Rice wine vinegar
      1 cup
    • Lime juice, freshly squeezed
      ½ cup
    • Cilantro stems, cut into ¼ ” pieces
      6 ea.
    • Garlic cloves, peeled and minced
      2 ea.
    • Ginger, minced
      1 tsp.
    • Kosher salt
      ¾ tsp.

    Watermelon Adobo Dressing

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Watermelon, pureed
      ½ cup
    • Fish sauce
      2 Tbsp.
    • Rice wine vinegar
      ½ cups
    • Light brown sugar
      1 Tbsp.
    • Kosher salt
      2 tsp.

    Salad

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Red watermelon, 3 x 3-inch square pieces, cut about 1-inch thick
      8 ea.
    • Yellow watermelon, 3 x 3-inch square pieces, cut about 1-inch thick
      8 ea.
    • Peanut oil
      ¼ cup
    • Scallions, trimmed and sliced
      3 ea.
    • Shallots, thinly sliced
      3 ea.
    • Thai chilies, thinly sliced
      2 ea.
    • Kaffir lime leaves, julienned
      2 ea.
    • Ginger, 2” piece, peeled and minced
      1 ea.
    • Cilantro leaves, torn
      1 cup
    • Thai basil leaves, torn
      1 cup
    • Sesame oil
      2 tsp.
    • Peanut oil, for frying
      8 cups
    • All-purpose flour
      1½ cups
    • Salt
      to taste
    • Pepper
      to taste

    Method

    For the pork belly

    1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Combine sugar, watermelon juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce and lime juice in a bowl and stir to combine. 
    2. Place pork belly in an oven proof dish and cover with the mixture. Cover with foil.
    3. Braise belly for 2 hours in the oven. Chill. Once cold, cut the pork belly into 1 inch cubes.

    For the watermelon rind relish

    1. Combine watermelon rinds with sugar, vinegar, lime juice, cilantro stems, garlic, ginger, and salt. Let sit for 1 hour refrigerated.
    2. Combine all the dressing ingredients into a sauce pot, bring to a simmer, and cool.

    For the salad

    1. Coat watermelon pieces in peanut oil and grill on high until charred on both sides. Cut in half.
    2. Coat pork belly in flour salt and pepper and deep fry at 350°F until crispy.

    To assemble

    1. Toss pork belly with watermelon rind relish, and the rest of the salad ingredients. Toss with the dressing.
    2. Plate grilled watermelon pieces with the pork belly salad on top. Garnish with basil leaves and additional rind relish.