Japanese Style Pickled Watermelon Rinds

This is a quick pickled watermelon rind recipe I am stealing from my mother’s recipe box! Pickled melon rinds were always around my house in the summer time.

We had a Japanese tsukemono pickle press that sat on the kitchen counter always full of chopped melon rinds. It looked so complicated to make and I imagined the pickling process taking days before the rinds were ready to eat.

I can still picture myself in our old kitchen wearing pink summer pyjamas and stealing watermelon rinds from the pickle press. My favorite way of eating them was with a little soy sauce and Aji-no-moto. They were so crunchy, salty and summery!


When I asked my mother for the recipe I expected something more complex than just soy sauce, rice vinegar and salt!

That’s it? Really?

That was her famous pickled watermelon rind recipe?

I couldn’t have been more surprised. Actually I did end up being even more surprised when she told me that the pickling time was no more than 15 minutes. This was crazy and wonderful news to me because it meant I could have delicious pickled watermelon rind pieces ready in just a few minutes!


The recipe for these pickled watermelon rind bites is really that simple: mix all the ingredients for the pickling sauce in a ziploc bag, add the melon rinds and leave to pickle for 10-15 minutes. Done and done.

Eat these pickled watermelon rind bites as a snack, with Japanese rice or use them as a topping for Japanese curry, spicy ja ja men noodles or as a condiment to sandwiches like a chicken banh mi.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind Bites

Don’t throw away your watermelon rinds! Instead, make these delicious pickled watermelon rind bites in less than 15 minutes and serve them as a side or snack!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Marinating
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 1 cup watermelon rind (outer skin peeled, pink flesh removed and chopped bite size)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce


  1. Put kosher salt, rice vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl and stir until salt has dissolved.
  2. Put watermelon rind pieces in a ziploc bag and add pickling sauce. Push out most of the air from the ziploc bag and seal. Massage the watermelon rinds to ensure the sauce covers each piece evenly.
  3. Marinade for 10 minutes if you want mild pickled watermelon rind pieces and 15 minutes for a spicier pickled watermelon rind flavor.


Nutritional Benefit of Watermelon Rind:
Watermelon rind is good for the skin and immune system. One cup contains 16% of your daily intake of vitamin C and 4% of your daily intake of vitamin B6.


  • Calories: 46
  • Sodium: 656
  • Protein: 0.1

Keywords: recipe, pickles, Japanese, vegan, vegetarian, meatless, snack

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