Summer has drawn to an end here in Australia and on its way elsewhere in the world. Luckily for me, I live in QLD aka "the sunshine state" where it's warm all year round. Which means I get to enjoy this spicy watermelon snack all the time! Truthfully though I'm just trying to cling on to the last bit of summertime feeling!
For those of you who are starting to warm up again and are planning pool & bbq parties on your deck or yard then this spicy watermelon snack is one for you. The watermelon as we all know is insanely refreshing, feta adds a lovely hot of salinity to the dish, lime and watermelon well - duh! BUT togaroshi. Once you sprinkle this stuff along with some mint you will be wondering where it has been all your life!
Togaroshi - what is it?
I had never heard of the stuff until I moved to NYC. One of the cocktails on our menu was a rockmelon collins with a togaroshi rim on the glass. UNREAL! I could (and still would) chug way too many of these guys! So that's kinda the inspiration for this dish. Well, that and living in a hot climate and wanting to eat cool and refreshing snacks on the regular.
So, togaroshi. The simplest way I can describe it is it's like a Japanese 7 spice. The basis of it is - nori, orange peel, sesame & chilli. But different producers will alter some ingredients. If you haven't had it before then head to your local Asian store and get on to it. You often see it as a finishing spice in Japanese cuisine - much like how I have used it here with this watermelon snack. However, just last night I lightly rubbed my hangar steak with it before grilling it and it was PERFECTION!
In case you didn't realise I do a bit of private catering and I am always looking for different snacks to serve pre-dinner. This one has proved to be a hit amongst everyone. What's even better is it is so darn simple that I am pretty confident my wife could put it together! Which means anyone could do it. No offence wifey but being in the kitchen isn't her favourite thing to do so it's a good barometer of how simple/hard my recipes are if I say she can make it!!
You can "fancy" it up a little if you wanted to cut the melon into long rectangles and pop a skewer in the end but I love the simplicity of a good ol wedge of watermelon. PLUS it's a little friendlier on the environment too. I promise if you serve this up at your next brunch gathering, afternoon drinks party or as a pre-dinner snack your friends/guests will be blown away!
Can't have party food without something to drink - can we?? Good party food is definitely bubbles but bubbles is such a cop-out. Let's make it a little more interesting and go with a deliciously juicy riesling. The riesling I have chosen is 'Big Fine Girl' from Jeanneret. I picked this bad boy up from winedirect.com.au for a great price of $20.
Riesling is a great way to start any occasion - lunch or dinner. This particular Riesling is quite rich with tons of depth. What's that mean? It's got some soul! There is plenty of lemon and lime fruit & juicy acidity too It works great with the spice from the togaroshi and the saltiness of the feta in the watermelon. It's like there is a party in your mouth, to be honest. Although that does sound a little odd when I read it out loud 😉 The back palate offers a little blackcurrant and good length. A wine that will please most and at $20 it's defo worth a 6pck or more. Another GREAT thing about Riesling is it's aging potential so if one or two of these got lost in the cupboard/cellar you very well may end up with a far superior wine!
OTHER PARTY SNACKS
If you like this recipe and are looking for some other quick, simple and DELISH snacks then check out these recipes too.
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!!
- 1 kg seedless watermelon cut into wedges
- 50 g feta cheese
- 1 tbsp togaroshi
- 8 leaves mint cut finely
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Cut the watermelon into easy to handle and eat sized wedges. I typically cut my watermelon into quarters (if the fruit/veg shop hasn't already done so) and then slice them about 3/4" thick and then cut those wedges into 2 or 3 pieces depending upon size.
- Crumble feta and sprinkle on top of watermelon, sprinkle as much or as little togaroshi as you want (best to sample one first if you haven't used it before) and then add mint. Squeeze a little lime juice over before serving and enjoy!
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- best to make one and taste the spice ratio before you continue. I like a good amount on mine but not everybody does
- serve immediately but you can cut the melon in advance and store in an airtight container
- to "fancy" them up you could cut into long rectangles and add a skewer lengthways so it looks almost ice pop like!