You’ve probably sprinkled a fair amount of salt on your watermelon slices. Everyone knows that this combo just works, even if they don’t know why (fyi, it’s because salt both enhances a melon’s sweetness and draws water to the exterior of the fruit, for juicier bites every time). However, if you’ve done the watermelon-plus-salt combo enough times this summer and are looking for a new way to enjoy watermelon before the season ends, we’ve got you covered.
There’s one secret spice that you need to add to your watermelon slices, stat: Tajín.
Okay, okay, we know — this might not be an ingredient you have tucked away in your spice rack next to the cumin and thyme. So what’s Tajín?
Tajín isn’t just one singular spice. Instead, it’s a classic, Mexican spice blend that combines an array of dried chili peppers, dehydrated lime and sea salt, as AllRecipes explains. The combination is only mildly spicy, and the dehydrated lime adds a citrusy note, for a unique flavor profile that’s an amazing addition to raw fruits and veggies, including watermelon. You can buy Tajín at most grocery stores, in the international foods aisle.
If you’ve ever had a michelada, then you’ve had a taste of Tajín. The blend is usually sprinkled around the cocktail glass’s rim, much like you’d find salt or sugar around the rim of a margarita. (And if you’ve never had a michelada, well, it’s high time you tried that, too; the Latin cocktail blends beer, tomato juice and other ingredients for a savory cocktail not dissimilar to a bloody mary.)
How to Combine Tajín and Watermelon
Obviously, the easiest way to combine Tajín and watermelon is by simply sprinkling a little bit across your watermelon slices, adding more or less Tajín depending on your personal preferences. However, you can also get a little creative by adding in other ingredients and preparing your watermelon in different ways.
For example, make a Tajín and watermelon fruit salad by combining the two ingredients with other fruits, like pineapple, papaya and mango, with maybe a sprinkling of mint or cilantro, and even some cojita cheese. If you’d like a little extra spicy kick, throw on some sliced jalapeños.
Prefer to drink your watermelon? Tajín is fantastic in a watermelon margarita or on the rim of your glass in this Watermelon Basil Cooler.
Don’t Let That Leftover Tajín Go to Waste
Once watermelon season is past, you’ll likely have some Tajín leftover, so be sure to use it in other ways, to brighten and add a flavorful kick to other healthful foods. Beyond adding Tajín to raw vegetables and fruits, consider adding it to grilled fruits and veggies, roasted nuts or pumpkin seeds, dehydrated fruits or homemade popsicles.
Tajin on Watermelon
- 1 slice watermelon
- 1 tbsp Tajin
- Cut a chilled watermelon into wedge shaped slices you can easily hold with one hand. Optionally, insert a popsicle stick through the rind so you can hold it that way and keep some of the watermelon juice off of your hands.
- Sprinkle some of the Tajin on the watermelon. Or alternatively, spread some of the Tajin on a plate and press the watermelon slice onto it.
- Set the seasoned watermelon slice to the side and let it rest for a few minutes. This allows the seasoning to absorb some moisture, soak into the watermelon, and draw out some of the watermelon's sweet juices. Enjoy!