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Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Composed Salad Recipe

by Jeanette on July 24, 2013 · 25 Comments
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This Burmese inspired Cucumber Watermelon Composed Salad is like a party in your mouth, with sweet, sour and savory flavors, and lots of crunch and juiciness.
Composed Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Salad © Jeanette's Healthy Living
I’ve been having some fun looking through Modernist Cuisine at Home this past week.  I am curious about how some of the techniques and ingredients might be used to make foods for people who have certain medical conditions.

For example, would making chicken soup into a hot gel, or using a pressure cooker to intensify flavors in broths, vegetables and meats make it possible for someone on a restricted diet, such as a soft food diet or a low residue/low fiber diet find more enjoyment from eating.

This Burmese inspired Cucumber Watermelon Salad really has very little to do with Modernist Cuisine other than the cucumber rolls on the plate you see. I spotted a pretty picture of a Fruit Minestrone in the book, with different elements of the soup, including mini cucumber rolls, composed in a bowl of strawberry broth.

Composed Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Salad © Jeanette's Healthy Living

This salad is based on a recipe I spotted for Burmese Melon Salad with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette, which uses seasonings common in a Burmese street food called Gin Thoke. Apparently, Gin Thoke is used as an after meal digestive, and includes a potent mix of young ginger, sesame, and coconut.

Although I’m not sure if there’s actually a melon salad served with Gin Thoke in Burma, from what little I know of Burmese food, they eat lots of salads, so this is my version of this salad. The dressing for this light salad is made with ginger infused oil, lime juice and fish sauce so you get the sweet and salty flavors that are reminiscent of this cuisine.

Fresh mint, pan roasted peanuts and toasted coconut add nice textures, and the cucumber rolls and watermelon balls just make this salad that much more fun to look at and eat.

This week, I’m participating in Food Network’s Summer Fest event where Cucumbers are being featured. Be sure to check out what my fellow foodie friends made this week:

Feed Me Phoebe: Fennel Tzatziki with Mint
The Lemon Bowl: Japanese Quick Pickled Cucumbers
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Composed Salad
Domesticate Me: California Salad with Roasted Chicken and Avocado Dressing
Taste With The Eyes: Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi with Shrimp and Minari
Devour: Cucumber and Mint Lemonade
Haute Apple Pie: Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spicy Cucumber, Carrot and Onion Refrigerator Pickles
Red or Green: Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho
Virtually Homemade: Cucumber Tomato Bruschetta
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Neer Mor — Zested South Indian Buttermilk with Cucumber
Weelicious: Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches
Blue Apron Blog: Barley Salad with Heirloom Cucumbers & Golden Beets
The Sensitive Epicure: Pimm’s Cups and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
FN Dish: Pickles Past the Jar

Burmese Cucumber Watermelon Composed Salad

Rating: 51


    Ginger Lime Dressing
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Salad
  • English cucumber, ends trimmed, sliced as thinly as possible lengthwise
  • small watermelon balls
  • fresh lime segments, cut into small pieces
  • fresh mint
  • roasted peanuts, crushed (I put the peanuts in a plastic bag and used a rolling pin to crush them)
  • toasted unsweetened coconut shreds
  • toasted sesame seeds


  1. Make Ginger Lime Dressing by heating oil in a small skillet; add ginger and turn heat off; let ginger sizzle until light brown; use slotted spoon to remove ginger. Whisk together fish sauce and lime juice; add ginger infused oil and mix well.
  2. Roll up cucumber slices tightly. Arrange on serving plates, along with watermelon balls, fresh lime pieces and mint leaves. Sprinkle peanuts, toasted coconut and sesame seeds on top. Drizzle a little dressing on top just before serving.

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  1. Gorgeous salad with delicious flavors! I always love a good party in my mouth :-)

  2. I love this recipe and it comes at such a great time where I have watermelon and cucumbers on hand from the garden!

  3. Drooling over this – love fish sauce!

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Fish is a secret ingredient Liz – it’s so good but people are sometimes wary of it. So happy to find another fish sauce lover!

  4. What a beautiful salad! It’s such a unique take on standard watermelon salads.

  5. Hi Jeanette – found you through SummerFest. Nice combination of flavors here! Neat presentation too.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Hi Lori, great meeting you through Summer Fest. Always enjoy seeing what everyone comes up with each week!

  6. what a gorgeous photograph! and the salad sounds delicious i love how quick and easy this is.

  7. Stunningly beautiful composition, Jeanette! I’m so glad I stopped by today to read your interesting article. Such a fabulous salad recipe. I adore fresh cucumbers and watermelon in the summer. I’m not a big fan of fish (so I supplement), but you just may make me a convert with your Ginger Lime Dressing! It sounds lovely and I just adore ginger and lime together (hence, my Coconut Ginger Lime Margarita recipe posted this past spring). Thank you for sharing! xo

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Stacy – so nice to see you here. Love your blog! Been having some fun playing around in the kitchen, trying some new things. Hope to see you again soon!

  8. I love cucumbers and watermelon together–what a beautiful salad!

  9. loved the concept of a composed salad, watermelon and cucumber are really a combination made in food heaven, great recipe, check out our phokchas for an unique treat :-)

  10. Love seeing a composed salad on a blog

  11. I love this! Such a bright summer salad, zingy dressing, and so simple. This would be a showstopper starter at a summer dinner party.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Sarah – I had fun plating this. Would be a fun way to present salad when we have company…might even get some of the guys to try it!

  12. Delightfully plated and so summery! Looks absolutely beautiful and nourishing.

  13. When I saw this the other day, I immediately went “Woah!” I’m not sure if it was the bright colors or my love of coconut, which I was so happy to see here, that made my jaw drop.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Brian – I know this presentation is a bit unusual so I’m glad it caught your eye. Definitely had fun playing around with this food on the plate.

  14. This is so pretty! I confess, I’m more of a chopped salad kinda girl, but this looks like something I’d get in a fine dining restaurant.

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Thanks Maris – I love chopped salads. This composed salad was definitely something unusual for home cooking, kind of like pretending you’re eating out ;)

  15. What a pretty salad, I love the deconstructed feature, and being able to see all of the ingredients. I have never gotten into watermelon in my salads but this may change my mind as I love the addition of cucumbers and coconut. And the ginger lime dressing sounds perfect!

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