Watermelon Wakame Poke Bowl

I love Japanese food for the way in which it can be simultaneously addictively moreish and satifsying, and light and clean. If I have been eating particularly heavily for some reason, or my digestive system is just feeling sluggish and like it needs a break, I always turn to my store of Japanese recipes. Using my arsenal of Japanese ingredients I am always prepared to knock up something in 5 minutes to leave me feeling virtuous and healthy, yet gorged.

So, last week I bought a watermelon. I hardly ever do this because I prefer to eat the fruit I have growing outside... but it was hot and I couldn’t resist. Now, this was a big watermelon for one small person. So after the novelty of big bowls full of fresh pink fruit wore off, I started to look for ways to incorporate the melon into my meals.  

Melons are really tricky. Actually in ayurveda they are considered toxic to the body. And it’s true, they are definitely one of the harder fruits to digest - particularly if you want to eat them in with other ingredients in tow. But life would be no fun if we followed all the rules all the time. Ayurveda is the middle path - there is no need to be super austere: if you want to eat something you know is tricky to digest, go for it! But utilise some of ayurveda’s tools for easing the way through incorporating spices etc. So in this recipe I have marinated the watermelon both for reasons of taste and digestive health.

This is an ideal summer meal - lunch or dinner - that is really easy but definitely impressive. Enjoy!  

(Serves 2)

For the Watermelon:
Approx 500g Fresh Watermelon (2 big handfuls) sliced into 1/2 inch cubes  
1/2 inch of peeled Fresh Ginger grated or thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Cayenne
Juice of 1 Lime
Big pinch of Seasalt  
6 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

For the Bowl:
2 Servings of cooked noodles (I used udon but rice noodles work very nicely) or, alternately you can use white rice
1/3 cup of dried Wakame
1 cup Silken Tofu sliced into 1cm cubes
A handful of thinly sliced Red Radish

To Garnish:
A handful of crushed cashews
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
A small bunch of fresh mint  

- In a medium sized bowl mix together all of the marinade ingredients for the watermelon. Once evenly incorporated, add the watermelon cubes and gently toss. Leave the watermelon to marinate in this sauce for 30mins - 1hr (or even longer if you have the time/patience). In the meantime you can be preparing your noodles or rice.
- Place the dried wakame in a bowl and cover with warm water (use a generous amount of water as the wakame will expand to twice its volume) and leave aside for 10mins to rehydrate.
- Pour the sesame seeds and crushed cashew nut pieces into a dry frying pan and place over a medium heat, tossing them regularly until the edges of the cashews are lightly toasted and the sesame seeds are fragrent. Remove from the heat.  
- Once the watermelon has been marinating for at least 30mins, add the thinly sliced radish, tofu and strained wakame to the noodles and mix. Serve into bowls and carefully take the watermelon cubes and place them on top. Pour the marinade over the noodles. To finish, sprinkle the nuts and seeds on top, along with some roughly chopped mint.