Asian Watermelon Fruit Salad Recipe

Last Updated on January 23, 2022 by Anne-Marie

Make this Asian Watermelon Fruit Salad Recipe if you love a good watermelon fruit salad with mint, but aren’t crazy about feta.

A white bowl Asian Watermelon Fruit Salad with chopsticks.

Why this recipe works

Mint, cilantro and basil, plus sesame seed oil, tamari sauce, and citrus flavored rice vinegar gives this healthy watermelon salad a unique Asian flavor.

Not only is it an easy watermelon salad recipe to make, but it makes a wonderful summer side dish for weeknight dinners or weekend BBQs.

This Thai inspired watermelon fruit salad goes well with grilled teriyaki beef or chicken cooked up on the grill. Perfect for summer!

(Looking for more Asian recipes? Check out 35 of the Best Recipes to Serve with Fried Rice! )

How to buy a watermelon

Planning to make watermelon salads? Then you need to buy the best watermelons you can, whether it's at a fruit stand, a farmer's market, or at your local grocery store.

When buying a watermelon, make sure to look it over. You want a firm, symmetrical watermelon that has no cuts, bruises or dents in it.

Trying lifting the watermelon. It should be heavy since most of its weight is water.

When you turn it over, do you see a yellow spot? That’s OK! The yellow spot is where the watermelon sat on the ground to ripened in the sun.

Finally, when you get your watermelon home, make sure to wash it before you cut into it.

Yes, it’s been rolling around the back of your car. But before that, who knows where it’s been?

A bowl of Asian Watermelon Fruit Salad with chopsticks

Tips for making watermelon fruit salad

You can assure all your gluten free family members and guests that this watermelon fruit salad is OK to eat.

Sauces: That’s because you’re using tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.

Also, make sure to double check that the fish sauce doesn’t have any wheat or soy sauce in it.

Pine Nuts: This mint watermelon salad recipe is also nut free since it uses pine nuts instead of peanuts. (Pine nuts are actually seeds and not nuts.)

However, pine nuts are usually manufactured on the same machinery as regular nuts.

To remove allergens try this:

Rinse the pine nuts very well in warm water. Pat them dry and then sauté them for a few minutes in a hot frying pan to remove any moisture.

But when it doubt, leave the pine nuts out! Ask your allergic friends or family member for their comfort level in using pine nuts.

Don’t assume. You can always serve the pine nuts on the side.

Save the rinds: When making your Asian watermelon salad, keep the rinds to make Crisp Pickled Watermelon Rind Pickles.

A bowl of Asian Watermelon Fruit Salad made with basil, mint, cilantro and pine nuts.

Sesame seeds: Speaking of nut allergies, my daughter, who is allergic to nuts is also allergic to sesame seeds.

If that’s the case at your house, instead of using toasted sesame seed oil, you can use a little more lemon flavored olive oil.

I love lemon flavored olive oil for sautéing vegetables, cooking eggs, or making marinades. That little hint of lemon is so delicious!

Vinegar: Finally, if you can’t find seasoned rice vinegar, a natural rice vinegar is OK to use instead.

More delicious watermelon recipes

This Watermelon Pizza is a show stopping dessert. Make it at a BBQ cookout or fish fry.

Fruit Stand Watermelon Cocktail or Sparkling Savannah Vodka Watermelon Cocktail are two refreshing watermelon summer cocktails.

My kids love this Avocado & Watermelon Ice Pops Recipe. A healthy snack to cool down during the warm weather.

If you love watermelon fruit salads, try Easy Watermelon Tomato Basil Salad or Watermelon Salad with Mint & Feta.


Asian Watermelon Fruit Salad Recipe

Asian Watermelon Salad recipe

Try this easy Asian watermelon salad recipe. This watermelon salad makes a wonderful side dish for weeknight dinners or weekend BBQs.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon-flavored olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium tamari sauce
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/2 Thai pepper, seeded and minced or 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 5 cups seedless watermelon cut into 1” chunks
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts


  1. Whisk together sesame seed olive, olive oil, fish sauce, tamari sauce, vinegar, lime juice, red onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. Add the watermelon and toss to combine.
  3. Let sit 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cilantro, basil, mint, and pine nuts to the watermelon salad.
  5. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

3/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 362mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on August 29, 2013 and June 5, 2017. Updated with new pictures and information.

One thought on “Asian Watermelon Fruit Salad Recipe

  1. Kathie Dempsey

    I made this for my foodie adult kids and their early 20ish kids last night. Everyone LOVED it! I followed the recipe except didn’t have basil or pine nuts.

    Served it with gingered pork with leeks dish from Ming Tsai’s book, ‘Simply Ming One Pot Meals’. Great combination.

    I will make this easy refreshing salad often during our hot Phoenix summer.


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