Crisp cucumber chunks and thin radish slices pickled in a tangy vinaigrette with a slight chilli heat, balanced by the sweet, cool watermelon.






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  • 2 short cucumbers (or 1 long), seeded and cut into 3-cm chunks
  • 80 g rainbow radish, thinly sliced with a mandolin
  • ¼ seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1.5 cm-thick triangles
  • ½ cup coriander sprigs
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • crispy fried shallots, to serve

Fish sauce vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar or demerara sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp calamansi juice or lime juice
  • 2 tbsp cane vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

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.


Serves 4-6 as a side

Marinating time: 1 hour

  1. For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add the cucumber and radish, toss to combine, then refrigerate for up to 1 hour to pickle.
  2. Just before serving, drain the cucumber and radish, reserving the vinaigrette.
  3. To serve, place the watermelon, cucumber and radish on a serving platter and scatter with the herbs. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and scatter with the fried shallots.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.