I first experienced this amazing blend of flavors at a wine and seafood festival in Bodega Bay, California. It was a sultry summer day, 90 degrees in the shade. One of the local chefs was serving little cups of refreshingly chilled melon soup with the tang of lime and perfect finish of salty fish sauce and fragrant basil. I fell in love. Here is my exploded version, in an appetizer form.

(Makes about 24 bites)

1 ripe orange melon
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely diced poblano chile
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (or to your taste--I sometimes use up to 2 tablespoons, believe it or not!!)
A few drops of hot sauce (optional)
Small basil leaves
Fresh raspberries or small cubes of plum

Peel and seed the melon and cut it into bite sized pieces. (For a technique on this, see the Gardening with Ciscoe video.) Combine the lime juice, sugar, pasilla, basil and fish sauce. Adjust the seasoning to your taste with additional fish sauce, sugar and/or hot sauce. Add the melon and toss to marinate. Chill for about an hour.

Spear each melon ball with a raspberry and basil leaf on a small skewer.

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