Sweet and spicy deep-fried watermelon

Try this famous dish from Nick Liu's DaiLo menu!

Watermelon is a great, refreshing fruit to help cool you down in the summer heat – but what if you spiced it up (literally) and deep-fried it?

Chef Nick Liu shares his famous recipe for deep-fried watermelon that is renowned at his Toronto restaurant, DaiLo. Inspired by his uncle, Chef Liu batters and fries watermelon cubes and tops it off with a homemade Nahm Jim sauce and pickled watermelon rind. Give this recipe a try and see how delicious it can be to deep-fry fruit!


Nahm Jim Dressing

Pickled Watermelon Rind


Pickled Watermelon Rind

  1. Add salt and watermelon rind to a bowl and mix well. Salt rinds for 15-20 minutes and then rinse under cold water.
  2. In a small pot add vinegar, sugar, and star anise. Bring to a boil and pour over the watermelon rinds so they are completely submerged. Put aside until assembly.

Nahm Jim Dressing

  1. Ruff chop chili, garlic, and coriander root. Place in a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste. 
  2. Place the remaining ingredients in the mortar and mix until combined. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients in a blender and blend on low to medium speed until ingredients are combined.

Fried Watermelon

  1. In a bowl toss the watermelon and sambal sauce, toss and coat well. 
  2. Add the cornstarch and dust and coat well. 
  3. Deep fry watermelon pieces on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper.
  4. Place the watermelon pieces on a plate. Place some of the pickled rinds around the watermelon on the plate. Sprinkle some of the bean sprouts over the whole dish and drizzle a couple of teaspoons of the Nahm Jim on top and around the plate to dress everything. Add small pinches of pork floss on top of each watermelon cube and garnish with green onion, basil leaves, and julienne chilis.