A perfect day to post this very festive watermelon BBQ sauce recipe- a 3 day weekend in both the States and here in Malaysia! Happy Labor Day, Americans.
And in Malaysia, it’s Merdeka Day. Merdeka is Malaysia’s “Fourth of July,” a celebration of it’s independence from colonial Britain in 1957. It’s been a quieter, more reflective Merdeka weekend in Kuala Lumpur this year.
(Side note: I love Google! This is what Google looks like in Malaysia today- hibiscus is the national flower).
Last Friday (August 22nd) was called a National Day of Mourning here in Malaysia, in respect for the victims and families of flight MH17. That day, the remains of the some of the victims from the crash were brought back to Malaysia for burial.
In light of the tragic events of both MH17 and MH370, the government here canceled fireworks and toned down normal festivities, in respect to the families. Very fitting in light of how many Malaysians have lost their lives this year in random accidents.
I live across the street from the National Palace, and I can hear a marching band playing down there right now. (View from my balcony of the palace and the Petronas Twin Towers– this was taken while the Palace was still under construction).
Labor Day is officially the end of summer in the States. Schools are back in session this week! (I can hear cheering from crowds of parents through my computer).
This BBQ sauce would be equally good if you’re grilling. I used it to slow cook some chicken breasts, and shred them. I made the (beautiful) chicken sandwich for Alex, and ate mine on crunchy leaves of romaine as wraps with tomato and avocado added.
Now, watermelon BBQ sauce isn’t just watermelon. There’s still tomato paste. At least this watermelon BBQ sauce (and many others I’ve seen recipes for!). I had watermelon BBQ for the first time years ago at Salty’s on the Columbia in Portland. It was served with grilled halibut. Normal BBQ sauce would be too sweet and cloying for the light flavors of halibut, but I remember how perfectly suited the lighter bodied watermelon BBQ sauce was for the fish.
What I really love about this BBQ recipe is that because the watermelon is so sweet, I barely had to add any sweetener. I added a bit of molasses, and after tasting it, couldn’t imagine it needing any more sweetness.
I experimented with several different types of vinegar, and found the lightness of champagne vinegar worked the best at keeping this a light and fruity sauce rather than overpowering it.
This BBQ sauce would be a great healthy dipping sauce- for baked chicken fingers, or even sweet potato fries!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 5-6 cups watermelon, diced
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon dijon honey mustard
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- dash of cayenne (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 large chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds)
- sea salt
- 1½ cups watermelon BBQ sauce
- Add olive oil to a large pot, and saute onion for 7-10 minutes, until translucent and lightly browned.
- Add the cubed watermelon, tomato paste, and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium low, and continue to simmer for 45 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a blender, and process for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is really smooth.
- Return to pot, and add remaining ingredients. Simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has slightly thickened.
- In a skillet, add olive oil, and then brown both sides of the chicken over high heat. Season with sea salt.
- Add browned chicken and BBQ sauce to a crockpot. Cook on high for 2 hours, or on low for up to 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken breasts, and shred using two forks. Return the chicken to the pot, and mix well with the BBQ sauce.
Other Fruity BBQ Sauce Recipes:
- Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce, by Liv Life (wow, sounds amazing!)
- Mango BBQ Sauce, by Joyful Healthy Eats
- Cherry BBQ Sauce, by Prevention RD
- Roasted Apple BBQ Sauce, by Closet Cooking