Korean BBQ Watermelon Steak with Cucumber Salad

Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAsian
Korean BBQ Watermelon Steak

Chef Karrie Hills

Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar

San Diego, Calif.

Cauliflower steaks have been trending for several years—now there’s watermelon steak. Chef Karrie Hills of Red Door Restaurant & Wine Bar in San Diego cuts the juicy red melon into thick slices and marinates them in a spicy Korean-accented ssamjang sauce. The watermelon is then grilled and served with a refreshing cucumber salad for a cool and flavorful summer meal.


Ssamjang sauce

¼ cup Korean soy bean paste

1 tbsp. sesame oil

1 tbsp. Korean chile paste

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. honey

Watermelon steak

1 mini watermelon, peeled

2 oz. ssamjang sauce (recipe above)

1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Cucumber salad

⅓ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp. sesame oil

2 tbsp. torn mint leaves

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. black sesame seeds

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1 small red chile pepper

1 garlic clove, minced


1. For ssamjang sauce, in small bowl, combine all ingredients; set aside.

2. For watermelon steak, peel and slice watermelon into thick 1- by 5-inch pieces. Place in large vacuum seal bag; add 2 ounces ssamjang sauce into bag. Compress and seal bags and let marinate for 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, prepare cucumber salad. In medium bowl, mix well vinegar, sesame oil, mint, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Add cucumber, chile and garlic; toss to combine and set aside.

4. Preheat barbecue grill. Remove watermelon from the marinade and grill over high heat, turning frequently for even caramelization.

5. To serve, plate two pieces of watermelon steak with cucumber salad; garnish with watermelon radish and cilantro leaf.

Photo courtesy of National Watermelon Board

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