Watermelon stir-fry with rice

Watermelon stir-fry with rice

V is for Vegan

Despite exhortations from the great and the good to be a ‘locavore’, sourcing fruit and veg locally, I must admit to a recent obsession with the tropics. Take watermelons, for instance. They’re almost camp as a fruit, the outsize prehistoric green bowling ball with its juicy pink interior studded with black seeds. No artist can resist painting them. But they are a pain in the bicep to shop for... you need serious muscles to carry them, or have them delivered.

This is an unusual use of watermelon, but I do like the contrast of sweet, crisp red flesh with savoury Chinese flavours. Other uses for any leftover watermelon flesh include freezing and blitzing it to make watermelon cocktails.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
2.5 cm piece ginger, peeled and cut into fine strips
1 red onion, halved and sliced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
100g mangetout
100g baby corn
400g watermelon, skin and rind removed, cut into 1 cm-thick wedges, (see note)
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
coriander leaves, to garnish
rice, to serve


  1. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or a heavy-bottomed saucepan and throw in the garlic, ginger and onion. Fry for 5 minutes or so, then add the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, salt, pepper, mangetout, baby corn, watermelon and sweet chilli sauce. Fry over a high heat, moving the ingredients around rapidly but carefully with a wooden spoon.
  2. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.


  • Do not discard the rind of the watermelon – the white part between the red and the green skin – as it can be used to make pickles, southern Dolly-Parton style. Or you could toss the rind in, separately, at the beginning; it is a little like cooked marrow.
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