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Chef Petrina Peart’s Grilled Watermelon Poke

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Chef Petrina Peart shares her recipe for this Grilled Watermelon Poke. Don't be fooled by the word "poke" .... This incredible dish is 100% vegan and plant-based!

Camila and Chef Petrina just completed our third week of the Women of Today August Chef Series! Together they made Chef Petrina’s 100% vegan Galette de Ratatouille that you will not want to miss…. You can check out that LIVE and the recipe here.

Today, Chef Petrina is sharing with us another one of her great recipes: This Grilled Watermelon Poke. It’s totally plant-based and a fresh spin on traditional fish-based poke recipes.

Grilled Watermelon Poke


  • 1 seedless baby watermelon
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 scallion stems (green onion)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, tamari or liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp togorashi (Japanese spice mix)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp sesame seed (black or white or mix)
  • 1 each toasted nori (seaweed) sheet
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 avocados
  • 3 sprigs, cilantro


  • Clean and remove watermelon from its rind. Cut into large enough slices to place on the grill. Peel and cut the onion in half.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the togorashi, chili flakes, and sesame seeds. Then, using your hands, crush the nori (seaweed) sheet into small pieces and add to the togorashi mix.
  • Whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and ½ of the lemon (juice) to create a liquid marinade.
  • In a sealable container or zip lock bag liberally season the watermelon with the togorashi mix and half of the liquid marinade. Shake to distribute evenly, let sit 30 minutes. Set aside the remaining marinade.
  • Heat the grill, then add watermelon. Grill until grill marks appear on each side of the watermelon slices (roughly 5 minutes per side). Grill the onion. Remove from grill and let cool.
  • Once cool enough to handle, cut the watermelon slices into medium diced cubes, or traditional Poke size. Using a strainer, press out excess water from watermelon. (it will be a lot of water).
  • Return your watermelon to a resealable container or zip lock bag. Small dice the grilled onion and add it to the watermelon. Add the remaining liquid marinade, minced garlic and sprinkle with the togorashi mix and salt and pepper. Let sit refrigerated.
  • Clean and cut avocadoes into small dices and place in a bowl. Finely chop cilantro and add to the avocado. Squeeze in the other half of the lemon, and finish with salt and pepper.
  • When ready to serve, strain off any excess liquid marinade that you don’t want present in the watermelon poke. (There may be a lot of water).
  • Thinly slice scallions and add to the watermelon poke. Serve Poke with avocado mix. Topped with scallions and togarashi mix. Taste and adjust with salt & pepper if needed.
Try serving with fried Rice Paper (Banh Trang) or fried Rice Noodle.
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Enjoy! And if you make this recipe, be sure and share it with us on Instagram.

About Chef Petrina: 

Chef Petrina was born and raised in Jamaica until her family migrated to the US. That early rearing as a child where she could go outside and pick a fruit from a tree left a lasting impression on how she looked at food. She spent 8 years in the Air Force; through her travels, she discovered her passion for cooking. She gained an understanding of how important food is and how it connects us all despite our different languages and cultures. During her time at Le Cordon Bleu she gained the skills necessary to match her passion and a deeper understanding of gastronomy. Chef Petrina has been making waves in the Vegas food scene for the last 5 years, working at restaurants such as Andiron and Americana. Chef Petrina, seeing the need for vegan fine dining food in Vegas, created Gaiya’sHarvest. A pop-up dinner and small events catering concept that also offers cooking lessons.Gaiya’s Harvest specializes in creating unique experiences by reimagining what vegan food can be.

You can also follow Gaiya’sHarvest on Instagram and Facebook.

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