Chef's Recipes

Crisp salmon with mint and pickled watermelon rind salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Crisp salmon with mint and pickled watermelon rind salad from Kitsch in Western Australia

  • 35 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus marinating, cooling
  • Serves 4
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“I recently celebrated my birthday with friends at Kitsch in Leederville, Perth. We ordered a few dishes to share, and all agreed the salmon and watermelon salad was special. Would the chef mind sharing the recipe?”
Jade Tsen, Mount Hawthorn, WA
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


  • 4 salmon fillets (about 100gm each)
  • 250 ml light soy sauce (1 cup)
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 300 gm watermelon, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup each mint leaves and coriander leaves (firmly packed)
  • 50 gm beans sprouts (about ½ cup)
  • 10 gm ginger, cut into julienne (2cm piece)
  • 4 red shallots, thinly sliced on a mandolin
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced lengthways on a mandolin
  • 2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
Pickled watermelon rind
  • 125 ml coconut vinegar (see note) (½ cup)
  • 80 gm white sugar
  • 2 cinnamon quills
  • 60 gm watermelon rind, thinly shaved on a mandolin
Green chilli nahm prik
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 red shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 long green chilli, coarsely chopped
  • 40 gm light palm sugar, or to taste, crushed
  • 60 ml fish sauce, or to taste (¼ cup)
  • 60 ml lime juice, or to taste (¼ cup)


  • 1
    Place salmon in a non-reactive container large enough to fit fish snugly. Pour over soy, season to taste with freshly ground white pepper and refrigerate to marinate (1 hour).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, for pickled watermelon rind, bring vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt to the boil in a saucepan over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid reduces slightly (5-7 minutes). Add watermelon rind and simmer until rind softens (5-7 minutes), then set aside to cool in liquid. Watermelon rind will will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for green chilli nahm prik, preheat oven to 200C. Roast garlic, shallot and chilli on an oven tray lined with baking paper until golden (5-7 minutes). Cool slightly, then pound in a mortar and pestle to a smooth paste. Add palm sugar, pound to break up sugar, then add fish sauce and lime juice, stir to combine (adjust seasoning to taste; dressing should be sweet, salty, hot and sour) and set aside.
  • 4
    Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan to 180C. Pat salmon dry with absorbent paper, then deep-fry, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit), remove with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper, then coarsely flake.
  • 5
    Drain watermelon rind (discard liquid) and combine with remaining ingredients and salmon in a bowl, drizzle over green chilli nahm prik, toss to combine and serve.


Coconut vinegar is available from Asian grocers.
This recipe is from the February 2011 issue of