Fermented watermelon rind salsa is tangy, refreshing, smoky and spicy. You will fall in love with this zero food waste recipe! This watermelon rind salsa adds a punch and a dose of probiotics to your meal. Keep the salsa in the fridge as a convenient topping for grilled meats and fish.
If you love salsa, also try my wild fermented tomato salsa recipe. Then watch the video below for how easy it is to make the fermented watermelon rind salsa.
Zero Food Waste: Can You Eat Watermelon Rinds?
Yes you can eat watermelon rinds, but they are a bit tough and flavourless. However, the watermelon rinds are quite suitable for fermentation. The fermentation process gives the watermelon rinds a tangy taste and the beneficial bacteria soften the watermelon rinds by pre-digesting them. I am also adding salt, herbs and spices to this watermelon rind recipe to make it super tasty.
Fermented Watermelon Rind Salsa Ingredients
You only need 5 ingredients to make this fermented watermelon rind salsa.
- Watermelon Rinds (outer green skin removed)
- Sea Salt
- Chipotle Chili Pepper Flakes
- Fresh Green Onions
- Fresh Cilantro
- You don’t need to add water to this recipe. The salt will draw out enough liquid from the watermelon rinds to submerge themselves.
- You can taste test the watermelon rind salsa during fermentation. Just be careful not to contaminate the jar, by always using a clean spoon. I suggested 7 days of fermentation, but the best measurement is by taste. You can ferment the watermelon rind salsa for a longer or shorter period of time, until it reaches the tanginess and softness you like. The longer the fermentation, the tangier and softer the watermelon rinds become. I suggest you taste the salsa after day 5. If the rinds are still tough to bite and not flavourful enough, wait for another day. Repeat this daily until you are happy with the result.
- You can eat the salsa as soon as they taste ready. Scoop out desired amount using a clean spoon, and store the rest in the fridge to stop fermentation.
Making Different Flavours
For variations, you can also use any herbs and spices you like following the same fermentation steps below. If you do try out different flavour profiles, make sure you don’t change the watermelon rind to salt ratio. The salt amount is key to the success of fermentation. For a self-brining fermentation recipe like this one, I suggest using 1/2 tablespoon (or 1 1/2 teaspoons) of salt to every 1 pound of vegetables.
More Lacto-Fermented Recipes You Will Love:
- Fermented Hot Peppers
- Fermented Cherry Tomatoes
- Sichuan Fermented Vegetables (四川泡菜)
- Wild Fermented Salsa (No Whey, Probiotic, Vegan)
- Keto Kimchi (Whole 30, GAPS, Paleo)
- Paleo Apple-Fermented Kimchi
- Homemade Fermented Sauerkraut /w Caraway Seeds
- Pineapple-Turmeric-Ginger Probiotic Sauerkraut
Fermented Watermelon Rind Salsa
- 1 pound watermelon rinds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Remove the green outer skin of the watermelon rinds. Cut the rinds into 1/4 inch dices.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the watermelon rinds, salt, chipotle chili pepper flakes, chopped green onion and chopped cilantro.
- Transfer the mixture into a sealed glass jar. In a few hours, the watermelon rinds should release enough juice to cover themselves. If needed, you can use a spoon to gently press down the watermelon rinds to submerge them under the liquid.
- Leave the jar in room temperature to ferment for 7 days, or until the watermelon rinds reach desired acidity and softness. The longer you ferment them, the softer and tangier they will become. You can taste test the watermelon rinds using a clean spoon every day after day 5 to access the progress.
- Once you are happy with the taste, transfer the jar to the fridge to stop fermentation. You can keep the watermelon rind salsa for years in cold storage.