Watermelon, Feta, and Jalapeño Salad

For a Southeast Asian spin, chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston adds fish sauce, chile, and Thai basil to the classic combination of watermelon and feta.

Featured in: A Houston Cookout with a Far East Reach

Watermelon, Feta, and Jalapeño Salad Watermelon, Feta, and Jalapeño Salad
Put a Southeast Asian spin on watermelon and feta salad with the addition of umami-rich fish sauce, fiery chile, and pungent Thai basil.
Yield: serves 6
Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 12 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 3 shallots (1 roughly chopped, 2 thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 red Thai chile, stemmed
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 12 oz. watermelon flesh, cut into 2 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch rectangles
  • 14 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 14 cup mint leaves
  • 14 cup torn basil leaves, preferably Thai
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. Purée fish sauce, lime juice, honey, chopped shallot, garlic, and chile in a blender until smooth; with the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified. Toss dressing with watermelon, feta, tomatoes, jalapeño, salt, and pepper in a bowl; transfer to a serving platter and top with sliced shallots, herbs, and scallions.