Michel Richard’s Tuna & Compressed Watermelon Salad


Compression brings next-level texture and flavor to the watermelon in this bright, fresh salad from the late chef Michel Richard.



½ lb raw tuna
1 small watermelon, halved, rind removed
¼ C scallions, sliced
½ Tbsp green tobiko (flying fish roe), to garnish
2 tsp sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)
Bibb lettuce, to garnish (optional)

Pickling Liquid:

2 C water
1 C apple cider vinegar
½ C white wine vinegar
½ C granulated sugar
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 dried bay leaf
1 Tbsp salt

Yuzu Vinaigrette:

¾ C yuzu juice
¼ C rice vinegar
¾ C honey
½ C lime juice
1 C olive oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
Pinch ground black pepper


2 C yuzu or ponzu vinaigrette
1 C pickling liquid
¾ C red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
1½ tsp xanthan gum



  • Sous vide circulator
  • Chamber vacuum sealer
  • Sous vide pouches
  • Blender


Prepping Time: 15 minutes / Cooking Time: 15 minutes (excludes sous-vide cooking)


4 servings


For the Salad:

  1. Halve the watermelon and remove the rind. Compress watermelon by sealing in a sous-vide pouch.
  2. Set aside and allow the fruit to compress for a few hours.
  3. Next, remove the watermelon and cut into half-inch cubes. Then cut the tuna into half-inch cubes and store both in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

For the Pickling Liquid:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, remove from the heat and reserve for dressing.

For the Yuzu Vinaigrette:

Mix all ingredients and reserve.

For the Dressing:

Blend all ingredients (except the xanthan gum) for one minute. Slowly incorporate the xanthan until the mixture is emulsified, about 30 seconds.

To Serve:

  1. Toss the tuna and watermelon lightly with a few tablespoons of the dressing, to taste.
  2. Garnish with scallions, sesame seeds, green tobiko, and bibb lettuce, if desired. Serve cold.

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