Quick-Pickled Cucumber-Melon Salad

June 23, 2011

Author Notes: Who *didn't* lose their mind when the Momofuku cookbook came out? While most of its recipes are eminently impractical, I have made David Chang's quick pickled cucumbers more times than I can count - thin Kirby cukes marinated in sugar and salt, rinsed, patted dry, and then devoured. But why not cut the vegetables a bit thicker, and bring that highly addictive flavor to a salad? With sweet melon and a touch of salty, pliant prosciutto? (Vegetarians can substitute a handful of feta - one extra salty item is necessary, in my opinion).

I now eat this salad for breakfast. - MeghanVK

Food52 Review: When MeghanVK says "quick-pickled", she's not kidding. Once you toss hunks of cucumber and melon in a few spoonfuls of salt and sugar, a 10 to 20 minute time-out is all they need. An impressive amount of water drains away, intensifying the flavors and gently seasoning them at the same time. Add silky threads of prosciutto (or feta, if that's how you roll), and you've got yourself a picnic in 30 minutes flat. - A&MThe Editors

Makes: 6 cups


  • 4 Kirby cucumbers, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thin
  • 3 cups sweet melon, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices high-quality prosciutto, cut into thin ribbons OR:
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
In This Recipe


  1. In a bowl, mix together the cucumbers and melon. Sprinkle over with the sugar and salt. The salad will begin to expel liquid almost immediately. Let sit 10-20 minutes and drain well. Return to the fridge until ready to serve.
  2. Before your picnic/casual lunch/classy dinner party, drain the salad again and remove to a serving bowl. Add a grind of black pepper and sprinkle over the prosciutto or feta (using both will add too much salt; not recommended). Spoon into bowls or eat straight from the serving dish with your fingers, trying to keep the cucumber-melon juice off your chin.

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