This pan-seared Watermelon Steak transforms juicy watermelon into a deliciously chewy vegetarian steak! With a quick brush of flavor and a sear in the pan, this looks as good as it tastes.
I once had a brilliant idea of cooking up a savory watermelon steak.
But then a Boston restaurant apparently invented a time machine, came to the future, invented a mind reading machine, and stole my idea. So I tried out their Oven-Roast Watermelon Steak recipe and even though I added twice as much cream sherry as was required, it was pretty good.
But now it’s time to do things Sarah’s way. And Sarah’s way involves:
- Trials/errors/minor grease burns
- Lower cook time
- Feta cheese + balsamic reduction
- Pure watermelon transformational magic
Here’s what you’ll need
This watermelon recipe is unlike any other. AND you only need a handful of ingredients. Double win!
- Seedless Watermelon: Seedless watermelon is best here, though you can use any watermelon variety that you have on hand.
- Flavorful Oil: A combination of oil, liquid smoke, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. This helps to accentuate the savory flavors, tricking your brain into thinking you’re eating something closer to steak!
- Toppings: Top with crumbled feta, balsamic reduction, and fresh mint!
How do you make watermelon steak?
Making watermelon steak is really easy. You’ll basically just:
- Cut watermelon into planks
- Pat steaks dry
- Brush on flavor
- Saute in a hot pan
- Serve warm with feta, mint, and balsamic
How to cut watermelon steaks
So you start by cutting out some watermelon steaks. Cut the watermelon in half lengthwise, then place the flat edge down and cut 1 ½ to 2 inch slices down. It’s better to make them too thick than too thin. From each slice, cut out a rectangle.
Those grease burns I mentioned? Yea I thought it’d be smart to throw the sopping wet piece of watermelon into a hot pan of grease. Don’t do that. Instead, pat dry the watermelons with paper towels (for maximum dryness, place them uncovered in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours).
Brush with your flavored oil mixture, then it’s onto the cooking! Add a dash of oil to a skillet and bring to a low-medium heat. To prevent any splash-ups, gently slide each steak into the pan. Cook each side for about 5 minutes, then increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, about 1 minute per side, until edges are slightly browned.
What does watermelon steak taste like?
Cooking watermelon transforms its distinct granular texture into a slightly chewier texture, almost like raw tuna. The taste becomes less sweet and more savory/smokey!
How to serve watermelon steak
These steaks go well as the main course or as a fun side dish! Here are some summery idea that go well with them:
- Carrot Hot Dogs
- Garden Tomato Soup
- Portobello Mushroom Burgers
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Vegetarian Caesar Salad
Looking for another plant-based steak? Try these Seitan Steaks!
- ½ large seedless watermelon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- ½ tsp liquid smoke
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
- Garnish: balsamic reduction, crumbled feta cheese, chopped fresh mint
- Cut: Cut watermelon in half lengthwise. Place flat side down, and cut 1 ½ inch wide slice. Cut the largest rectangle possible from each of these slices. You should be able to get about 6 steaks from ½ of a watermelon.
- Dry: Pat each of the steaks dry with paper towels. If you have time, place them in the refrigerator uncovered for 1 to 2 hours to dry out excess moisture. Give them a final pat right before preparing.
- Flavor: Whisk together oil liquid smoke, garlic, salt, and pepper. Liberally brush on both sides of watermelon steaks.
- Saute: Lightly grease a large saute pan over low/medium. Gently slide each steak in, cooking for about 5 minutes on each side. Increase heat to medium-high and continue to cook each side for one minute, or until lightly browned.
- Serve: Serve warm, topped with balsamic reduction*, feta, and mint.
Tips & Tricks
- *How to make a balsamic reduction: Bring ½ cup of balsamic vinegar to a simmer in a small saucepan. Whisking occasionally, allow balsamic to cook and reduce down until it is syrupy and coats the pan and spoon (it will reduce in volume by about half).
- To cook watermelon steaks on the grill, cook on the stove as described above, but do not turn up the heat and brown on the stove. Instead, move partially cooked watermelon steaks to a well oiled grill and cook on high for a minute or two, until char lines develop.
- Store cooked steaks in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
- To make ahead, cut the watermelon into steaks and place in the fridge until ready to cook, up to 2 days. Brush with oil right before cooking.