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Watermelon Otsukuri

BBQ Watermelon Sashimi - The Secrets of Fine Dining

Learn how to make a 'watermelon otsukuri', step by step, with professional chef, culinary instructor and food content creator, Natalia Rudakova.

Rudakova is the host of Fine Dining Lovers' 'The Secrets of Fine Dining' series bringing you incredible tips and tricks, straight from the chef’s kitchen, to level up your fine-dining cooking techniques and plating skills.

Prepare to be amazed as she highlights some incredible, yet simple, molecular gastronomy and fine-dining techniques, which you can re-create at home.


18 October, 2021
Average: 4.2 (36 votes)

serves for



For the Watermelon Sorbet
1 tsp
For the Miso Glazed Watermelon
Dark miso
1 tbsp
30 g
10 g
Soy sauce
30 g
For the Cured & BBQed Watermelon
Kosher salt
200 g
Smoked paprika
1 tbsp
Onion powder
2 tbsp
Ginger powder
1 tbsp
Chili flakes
1 tbsp
White wine vinegar
60 g
Vegetable stock
125 g
Agave syrup
30 g
Brown sugar
25 g
Onion powder
20 g
1 clove
Smoked paprika
5 g
Dijon mustard
20 g
30 g
Fancy molasses
15 g
Chili flakes
½ tsp
Miso paste
20 g
Liquid smoke
1 tsp
Black pepper
to taste

In this recipe, chef Natalia Rudakova teaches us how to cook vegan otsukuri using watermelon and a watermelon sorbet. Don’t be mistaken by its fishy looks, because this sashimi is completely plant-based.

Watch how it's done in the video below, and follow the step by step recipe to have a go at home.


To see more videos and fine dining creations from Natalia Rudakova, visit her Youtube channel and follow her on Instagram.

Step 01

Watermelon_Step one

How to Make the Watermelon Sorbet:

Cut the watermelon into rough cubes, remove the seeds, and freeze overnight.

Step 02

Watermelon_step two

Place the frozen watermelon cubes into a food processor, add in lime juice and syrup and crush to even consistency.

Step 03

Watermelon_step three

Keep in the freezer until assembly. 

Step 04

Watermelon_step one

To Make the Miso Glazed Watermelon

Cut watermelon in 3.5cm pieces, 1cm thickness. Remove the seeds (if any).

Step 05

Watermelon_step two

Blend together all the glazing ingredients, bring to boil and cool down completely over an ice-bath.

Step 06

Watermelon_step three

Place the watermelon pieces in a shallow container, pour the glaze over, making sure it’s evenly coated on all sides.

Step 07

Watermelon_step four

Marinate the watermelon in the fridge for at least 30 min.

Step 08

Watermelon_step five

Wash the extra glaze off, before the assembly.

Step 09

Watermelon_Step one

How to Make the Cured & BBQed Watermelon

Cut the rind off the whole watermelon. You can keep it to make a watermelon pickle for the garnish (optional).

Step 10

Watermelon_Step four

Mix together the dry cure mixture: Kosher salt, smoked paprika, onion powder, ginger powder and chilli flakes.

Step 11

Watermelon_Step three

Cover the watermelon with a curing mixture all over, wrap in a plastic wrap and cure in the fridge for 1-2 days. 

Step 12

Watermelon_step four

Remove a significantly dehydrated watermelon out of the fridge and wash off all the extra curing mixture.

Step 13

Watermelon Step five

Blend together the BBQ mix (all the rest of the ingredients), bring to boil and simmer until it reduced half in size and thickens.

Step 14

Watermelon_step seven

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 260C. 

Place the watermelon on a rack, cover it with the BBQ mix and broil in the oven for about 20 min, turning it and covering with more BBQ mix half way through.

Step 15

Watermelon Step Nine

Let the watermelon completely cool down and refrigerate, then slice the watermelon thinly and shape in the form of roses.

Step 16

Watermelon Step one

To Assemble the Watermelon Otsukuri

Arrange all the pc of different kinds of watermelon on a plate, creating height and a variety of textures and colours, with the help of garnishes of your choice.

Serve cold and enjoy.

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Natalia Rudakova

Natalia Rudakova

I’m a professional chef, a culinary instructor and a food content creator.