• Austrian food blogger Eva Friedl posted a popular TikTok video demonstrating how to turn watermelon into vegan sushi. 
  • The simple recipe requires five ingredients and four simple steps. 
  • Friedl marinates the watermelon in a mixture of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, ginger, and sesame seeds to replicate the sashimi taste.
  • Friedl told Insider she was inspired to create the recipe after she saw videos of people cooking watermelon like steaks on a grill. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

First came watermelon steak, now there's watermelon sushi. 

A new video shows how you can transform the fruit into a sashimi replica in just a few simple steps — and it's already become a TikTok hit, with more than 506,000 views at the time of writing.

🌱 cruelty free tuna 🌱 full recipe on my Insta✌🏻💚 ##vegantuna ##vegan ##veganrecipe ##tiktokrecipe ##healthy ##veganfoodie ##veganrecipes

Austrian food blogger Eva Friedl, who made the video and calls herself a "software developer by day and recipe developer by night," told Insider that she loves how "close or actually better" the watermelon sushi tastes compared to actual tuna.

Friedl's recipe for her vegan tuna sashimi requires just four easy steps.
Eva Friedl

"I've let my boyfriend test it and he couldn't even guess what it is," she added. "He didn't believe me when I told him it is watermelon." 

Friedl, who also runs the vegan Instagram account @vegaliciouslyeva, said the recipe is "super simple." 

Her only big tip is to get the exact ingredients: watermelon, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, and grated ginger.

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🌱 VEGAN TUNA SASHIMI 🌱⠀ ⠀ The consistency of cooked or baked watermelon ist just amazing. Enough said. Try it out yourself 😋🧡⠀ optional ingredients for the marinade: – some seaweed for a more fishy taste – a bit of liquid smoke for a slightly smokey flavor ⠀ Directions:⠀ ⠀ 1. Cut the watermelon slices into sushi sized rectangles. ⠀ 2. For the marinade mix together toasted sesame seed oil, soy sauce and grated ginger.⠀ 2. Marinate the watermelon pieces for about 4 hours. You can also let it marinate overnight but then I would add a little bit of water so it doesn't get too salty.⠀ 3. Once marinated cook in a pot with the lid closed for about 10 minutes. The pieces should all be soft. ⠀ 4. Drain (you can use the marinade for an asian salad dressing) and turn in some sesame seeds on four sides. ⠀ 5. Serve with some cucumber slices, sriracha mayo and spring onions.⠀ ⠀ ENJOY 🧡⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #vegantuna #watermelon #watermelontuna #healthyrecipe #veganrecipe #veganfish #veganrecipes #veganfoodie #veganlife #vegansashimi #veganerthunfisch #simpleveganrecipe #vegansushi #vegansushirecipe #plantbasedsushi #plantsushi #healthysushi #watermelonrecipes #watermelonrecipe #veganaustria #veganvienna #vegan #veganerezepte #veganfood #wassermelone #simpleveganfood #veganfoodie

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"A lot of people keep asking me if they can use olive oil or any other oil," Friedl said. "But for an authentic 'tuna' experience, toasted sesame oil is very important. A lot of tuna sushi and sashimi recipes in restaurants that I tried before I went vegan had this taste in the dressing, so I think it helps a lot to create that kind of flavor combination that reminds you of the tuna." 

Getting toasted sesame oil is also important, she said, "because regular sesame oil tastes pretty plain."

Friedl added that she likes to reuse the marinade as a salad dressing. "I love to use it with glass noodles, cucumber, peanuts, and spring onions — tastes absolutely amazing," she said.

To begin making the vegan tuna sashimi, cut the watermelon into 'sushi-sized rectangles'

Friedl recommends cutting the watermelon into "sushi-sized rectangles."
Vegaliciouslyeva/TikTok

After cutting watermelon into "sushi-sized rectangles," mix ¼ cup of soy sauce with two tablespoons of sesame seeds, one tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, and ¼ teaspoon of grated ginger for the marinade mix. Marinate the watermelon pieces in the mixture for at least four hours. 

"You can also let it marinate overnight," Friedl said. "But then I would add a little bit of water so it doesn't get too salty." 

Marinate the watermelon in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame seeds, toasted sesame oil, and grated ginger.
Vegaliciouslyeva/TikTok

Once your watermelon is ready, cook it in a pot with the lid closed for about 10 minutes to soften up the pieces. Then drain the pot, saving the leftover marinade for a salad dressing if you like.

To serve, stick sesame seeds on all four sides of each watermelon piece. Plate them with cucumber slices, sriracha mayo, and spring onions to finish. 

Stick sesame seeds on the sides of each watermelon piece.
Vegaliciouslyeva/TikTok

Eva Friedl was first inspired to make watermelon sushi when she saw a recipe on Pinterest last year 

"It was uncooked watermelon that I mixed with Sriracha mayo and wrapped up in some sushi rice and seaweed," Friedl said of the Pinterest recipe. "It was perfect and refreshing for summer, but it wasn't quite the fish experience." 

Then, just a few weeks ago, Friedl saw videos of people making watermelon "steaks" on grills. 

"I was surprised to see how the consistency looked like – I think it looks more like fish than a steak," she said. "So I tried it with the watermelon and it worked amazing." 

Friedl also recommends adding the vegan tuna toa homemade poké bowl.
Eva Friedl

Friedl, who has been vegan since 2017, said she loves that her recipe is giving many people the chance to have a "similar taste experience" to eating sushi. 

"A lot of people on TikTok wrote to me that they're super happy about this because they're allergic to fish and now have a recipe they can enjoy as well," she said.

The food blogger has re-created more than just sashimi, using carrots to imitate smoked salmon. 

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📣VEGAN SMOKED SALMON for #veganizevednesday ⠀ Swap salmon🐟 with carrots🥕 and you get the exact same taste without killing an animal – how cool is that?🤔😎 Everyone of my non-vegan friends at the christmas brunch absolutely LOVED this so I urge you to make this as well 😊🙌🏻⠀ ⠀ Here’s what you’ll need:⠀ 👉🏻 4-5carrots⠀ 👉🏻~1.5 kg coarse sea salt Marinade: 👉🏻2-3 tsp liquid smoke⠀ 👉🏻1 tbsp olive oil⠀ 👉🏻1/2 tsp rice vinegar⠀ 👉🏻1 tsp nori flakes (remove before serving)⠀ ⠀ Toppings:⠀ 👉🏻red onion⠀ 👉🏻capers⠀ 👉🏻fresh dill⠀ Directions: Bake the carrots covered in salt in the oven at 200C(390F) for 2 hours. Let them cool down and then break the salt crust carefully with a wooden spoon. Remove carrot skin with a sharp knife. Then cut carrots into thin slices. Place them in a sealable jar, add the marinade – shake – and let it sit in the fridge for 2-3 days for optimal taste. The sea salt baking method is from @olivesfordinner and it is absolutely necessary to get an authentic taste. I also tried another version that is out there by cutting the raw carrot into thin slices, then steam them and let them marinate. Even tough this method is a lot faster it doesn’t get even close to the salt method that I used here in this recipe (even tough using the same marinade)⠀ ⠀ Hint: you can save the salt in a sealable container and reuse it next time⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀Music: @jeffkaale #vegansalmon #vegansmokedsalmon #veganfish #smokedsamon #carrotlax #carrotlox #carrots #carrots🥕 #recipevideos #veganrecipevideos #veganrecipe #veganrecipes #christmasrecipe #christmasappetizers #christmasmenu #veganchristmas #christmasvegan #veganchristmasdinner #thegamechangers #veganbreakfast #vegandinner #veganbrunch #christmasbrunch #thefeedfeedvegan #veganrecipeshare #rezeptvideo #veganfoodshare #veganfoodshares #vegandeutschland ⠀

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"It works so well that, last Christmas, my family members couldn't believe that they weren't eating real salmon," she said. "On a white bagel or toast with some vegan cream cheese, red onion, capers and fresh dill – it is just amazing."

Friedl is far from the only person to make watermelon sushi

YouTube food bloggers like Edgy Veg and avantgardevegan have also used the fruit to create their own vegan versions of nigiri, spicy tuna rolls, and poké bowls. 

And Stoke, a restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, was featured on Insider in 2018 for its seared watermelon dish that looked like a tuna roll. 

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