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Spiced pork salad with celery, watermelon and a creamy garlic chili dressing. This deconstructed salad recipe makes the perfect refreshing, light dinner!

Celery and Spiced Pork Salad with Creamy Garlic Chili Dressing

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Author: Rebecka Evans


For the Spiced Pork

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • 1 ½ tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons dried Chinese Five Spice
  • ½ cup minced scallions
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil

For the Celery, Carrots and Watermelon

  • 1 bunch celery
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 cups cubed watermelon
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

Balsamic Glaze

  • 2 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon caraway seed

Seasoned Salt

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Five spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the Garlic Chili Dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce found in Asian food section of local market
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
  • 2 Thai chilis


Ground Pork

  • In a large mixing bowl combine ground meats
  • Peel ginger and grate, peel garlic and mince, and finely chop scallions
  • Once this is done, add the ingredients to the meat mixture
  • Add Chinese Five Spice, panko crumbs, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil to the meat mixture, and mix well, using hands if necessary to distribute spices evenly
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté mixture until golden browned, remove from heat and spoon off liquids, set aside

To make pickling liquid for Celery and Carrots

  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, water, ginger and fish sauce. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 10 minutes
  • While the tickling liquid is cooling, wash and thinly slice celery. Add celery to a medium bowl and set aside
  • Wash carrots in cool water and remove butter skin, using a vegetable peeler cut into ribbons. Place cut carrots in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
  • Once pickling liquid is cooled, spoon 1 cup over carrots, cover and refrigerate until ready to plate
  • Likewise, add 1 cup liquid to celery as well as, ¼ teaspoon caraway seeds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to plate

For the Garlic Chili Dressing

  • Mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside

For the Spice Mix

  • Mix ingredients together in a small airtight container. Leftovers can be stored in a dry cool place for later use

To Plate

  • Cut watermelon into small chunks. Smear about 4 tablespoons garlic dressing onto large salad plate. Arrange celery, carrots, watermelon, and cooked spiced pork mixture into individual lines on plate. Blend Hoisin sauce and balsamic together in a small bowl. Transfer a small amount to a small zip bag, and pipe over watermelon. Sprinkle watermelon with a pinch of seasoned salt. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over pork mixture and toasted sesame seeds over carrots. Add sliced Thai chili and enjoy


This deconstructed salad comes together once the individual flavors are married together on the plate, creating a superbly flavored dish reminiscent of vietnams Bánh mi. The creamy garlic dressing blended with the pickling liquid on the celery make this dish sing with freshness and authentic Asian flavors.