Even though I gave up fish over five years ago, I still crave it from time to time. Especially tuna. Growing up, tuna noodle casserole was a weeknight staple, and tuna salad sandwiches never got old.
Even though there are vegan tuna options available (if you haven’t tried Good Catch, go for it!), a DIY version recently caught my eye because it gets its fishy texture from a super-surprising ingredient: watermelon.
Halle Burns, a popular recipe developer on TikTok, shared a recipe for vegan tuna made from watermelon that has more than 4 million views. “I’ll give you three seconds to name what kind of fish this is,” she says. “…it’s a watermelon.”
I know what you’re thinking: Watermelon successfully disguising itself as a fish seems nearly impossible. But this recipe is actually really popular—especially in dishes like sushi and poké bowls. Not only is the vegan tuna tasty, but it’s also good for the planet.
Tuna is heavily overfished, and the World Wildlife Fund says this has resulted in “significant population declines, poor international conservation management, and high levels of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.” Swapping in a plant-based option once in a while can help make a difference. Plus, it’s fun!
Want to try making this vegan tuna for yourself? Grab a watermelon and get to work using Burns’ easy-to-follow recipe below.
Watermelon Vegan Tuna Recipe
1. Cut the watermelon in half and slice it into cubes.
2. Marinade watermelon cubes in sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and seaweed flakes. Then top with salt, pepper, and sesame seeds.
3. After four hours, bake the cubes on reusable parchment paper for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Enjoy the vegan tuna in sushi, poké bowls, and other tuna-based dishes.
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