We taste-tested the vegan ‘watermelon steak’ recipe that’s all over TikTok

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Is “watermelon steak” the new steak? Probably not, but it is raising plenty of eyebrows.

The vegan, fruit-based meat alternative is blowing up on TikTok, with millions of users sharing their thoughts on whether watermelon can ever actually taste like steak.

To find out the truth, the editors at In The Know decided to make a batch of watermelon steak ourselves. So, we grabbed a melon, some seasoning and, for cooking, our handy Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet.

Shop: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, $23.89

Credit: Amazon

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Weirdness aside, this recipe is actually pretty simple. It basically just involves slicing watermelon into “steaks,” marinating it and tossing it on the skillet to cook.

To learn how to make the dish — and see our review of it — watch the video above or keep reading below.

How to make the ‘watermelon steak’ recipe from TikTok

First up, ingredients. In addition to your watermelon, a knife and a skillet, you’ll also need the following items:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Fresh basil

To start, cut up your watermelon until you can “chop” it into medium-sized steak shapes. To do this, just make a few irregular incisions with your knife so the cuts look more like meat.

Next, mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and liquid smoke in a large bowl. Whisk together the ingredients then drop in the watermelon steaks one by one — rolling them around so they’ll absorb the marinade.

Now heat your skillet to medium-high, and toss on the “steaks.” They’ll cook quickly, so flip them after a few minutes and then, remove them a few minutes later — basically once they start to char a bit.

Finally, top your finished product with a drizzle of balsamic and some fresh basil. You can also add other garnishes if you want. Then, grab your steak knife (which you won’t actually need) and get ready to dig in!

Is ‘watermelon steak’ good … or gross?

Now for the only part that really matters: Is this recipe any good? To judge that, we tested our watermelon steak on three factors:

  • Difficulty: This recipe isn’t hard to cook, but you do have to cut up a full watermelon to do it. 3/5.
  • Appearance: Say what you will about the concept, but these watermelon steaks actually look pretty good — and sort of like meat. Even if you hate the taste, it might still be worth posting a photo on Instagram. 4/5
  • Taste: This was obviously the most important factor, and unfortunately, it’s where our watermelon steaks fared the worst. The first bite tastes smokey and savory, like a real grilled steak — but from there, the sweetness of the fruit takes over and ruins it. 2/5.

Well, there you have it. This recipe might not taste great, but it does look pretty cool — so if you’re fine with making a full recipe just for Instagram, then maybe it’s still worth a stab.

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If you liked this story, check our video on how to make “vegan” bacon out of bananas.

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