This is Vietnamese comfort food in a bowl. If you’re looking for ways to use your watermelon rind, look no further! This is the prime no-waste recipe to use any rind or unsweet watermelon. Bonus – I’ll even share some tricks on how to choose the perfect watermelon every time, so you can pick a juicy one, with a thin rind.

How to pick the perfect sweet & ripe watermelon

  • Colour: A uniform colour all around, with one large darker yellow spot
  • Touch: Tap on the watermelon, you want to feel a light vibration on your fingertips back. If you feel a light “bounce”, it means that the watermelon has no bruising.
  • Sugar webbings: Look for large, dried webbings, which means they’ll be sweeter.
  • Complexion: Look all around the skin to ensure that it’s smooth. This means that the rind will be thinner.
  • Weight: Feels heavy for its size.
  • Stem: Make sure that the step is dried and dark brown, and not green. This means that it’ll be ripe!
  • Preference: If you like a watery watermelon, choose an elongated one. If you like your watermelon sweet and dense, choose a uniform one.

But if you don’t get lucky, and end up with a thicker watermelon rind that’s not so sweet, this recipe would be sure to make it all tastier.

Notes on the recipe

  • The cooked watermelon rind, resembles winter melon soup, with the soft part being the red portion of the watermelon. It makes you want to cut the watermelon in a way so that you only enjoy all the sweet parts, and leave the rest for the soup!
  • An extra step for shrimp lovers is utilizing the shrimp peel & head to add to the shrimpy aroma. Although it’s not necessary and adds on 20 minutes of cooking time.
  • You can enjoy this with rice, or with mung bean thread noodles – or on its own (my favourite)!

Vietnamese Watermelon Rind & Shrimp Soup

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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 4

Equipment

  • 1 Large pot

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ whole watermelon rind removed & skin peeled
  • 200 g shrimp peeled (reserve optionally, note 3)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp neutral oil

Broth

  • 1 L water
  • 1 tbsp chicken powder
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce brand 3 crabs
  • 1 tsp sugar

Garnish:

  • 1-2 green onion sliced

Instructions
 

  • Cut a watermelon, peeling the dark green skin, and reserving the rind.
    ¼ whole watermelon
  • Peel and devein shrimp. If using shrimp peel, set aside.
    200 g shrimp
  • (Optional if using shrimp peel, Note 3) Add ½ tbsp of oil to a large pot, and saute shrimp skin and heads for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiled, reduce to medium heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove any scum.
    200 g shrimp, ½ tbsp neutral oil
  • Roughly chop and mince shrimp. Add to a bowl and season with ½ tsp black pepper and 1 tsp fish sauce.
    200 g shrimp, 1 tsp fish sauce, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Add ½ tbsp of oil to a large pot, once hot add in shrimp mixture, and saute, roughly separating the pieces. Once 80% cooked, remove from heat, reserving any oil (just barely grey).
    ½ tbsp neutral oil, 200 g shrimp
  • To the same pot on medium-high heat, add 1L of water and watermelon rind. Allow broth to come to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes covered with a lid. After 20 minutes, add in chicken powder, fish sauce and sugar. Mix well and add in cooked saute shrimp. Increase heat to medium-high uncovered and skim any scum for 5-10 minutes. Once rind green part of the watermelon rind is translucent, it's ready.
    1 L water, 1 tbsp chicken powder, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar
  • Garnish soup with green onion, and stir. Enjoy!
    1-2 green onion

Notes

  • An extra step for shrimp lovers is utilizing the shrimp peel & head to add to the shrimpy aroma. Although it’s not necessary, and adds on 20 minutes of cooking time.
Keyword no waste recipe, vietnamese soup, watermelon rind, watermelon soup, what to do with unripe watermelon, what to do with unsweet watermelon