• Chargrilled jerk pork on watermelon and coconut salad (Ainsley's Market Menu)Source: Ainsley's Market Menu

Jerk seasoning is not just exclusive to chicken and the fresh watermelon in this recipe balances out all that heavy spice and charring. The recipe is designed as an entree but can be made into a main dish for 3-4.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (16 votes)


  • 500 g pork tenderloin
  • Coarsely chopped watercress, to garnish


  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2.5 cm piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 2.5 cm piece turmeric, peeled and finely grated (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar

Watermelon and coconut salad

  • ¼ wedge of watermelon
  • 1 shot of cold coffee (30-40 ml)
  • Zest and juice of ½ orange
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) coconut water
  • ¼ fresh coconut, flesh finely grated
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. For the marinade, place all the ingredients except the soy sauce and vinegar into a mortar and pestle or a blender and mash or pulse until smooth. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and stir or blend until well combined.

2. Using a sharp knife, very gently score the outside of the pork, forming a criss-cross pattern. Place in a shallow dish and rub all over with the marinade. Reserve the left-over marinade for later.

3. Heat a large chargrill pan or frying pan over high heat. Scrape off the excess marinade and place the pork into the hot pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent burning.  Don’t worry if the pork is a little charred, it adds to the flavour and the meat inside remains tender and moist. When cooked to your liking, remove from the heat, brush over some of the reserved jerk marinade and allow to rest for a few minutes.

4. Meanwhile, for the salad, remove the rind from the watermelon and dice the flesh into bite-sized cubes. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, reserving a little of the coconut for serving. Add the watermelon and gently toss through the dressing.

5. To serve, thinly slice the pork on an angle. Place the watermelon pieces onto a plate, top with a slice of pork and secure with a cocktail stick. Transfer to a serving plate, grate over some coconut, drizzle over any remaining pan juices and scatter with chopped watercress.


Ainsley Harriott explores Australia's best regional produce markets in the brand-new season of Ainsley's Australian Market Menu on SBS and SBS On Demand.