Thai-Style Radish and Watermelon Salad

According to Tom Colicchio, "Radishes are the unsung heroes of the vegetable world." He has been passionate about them ever since he was a kid in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where he'd pick them from his grandfather's small garden. "Radishes add texture, spice and color," he says. "I was featuring them in dishes at Gramercy Tavern almost 20 years ago, back when no one else was. Radishes are one of those ingredients that I always use when summer rolls around." Here, he tosses them with watermelon, chiles and an Asian fish sauce dressing for a refreshing salad.

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8 to 10


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • One 5-pound watermelon—rind and seeds removed, flesh cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (8 cups)
  • 12 radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh hot red chiles, such as Holland or cayenne, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed Thai basil leaves, torn

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, <em>sambal oelek </em>and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Add the watermelon, radishes, scallions and red chiles and toss. Fold in the mint and basil, season with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

With this spicy salad, Colicchio poured a ripe rosé from nearby North Fork winery, Lieb Cellars.

Contributed By Photo © Michael Turek Published August 2013

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