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Sandia Loca

Spanish for "crazy watermelon," this Mexican street food is a sweet-salty-sour-spicy fruit salad to the extreme.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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1 watermelon

1 pineapple

8 strawberries

1 mango, thinly sliced

1 jicama, peeled and cut into batons

1/2 cup chamoy (see Cook's Note)

2 tablespoons tajin spice blend, plus more for sprinkling (see Cook's Note)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Several dashes hot sauce

Tamarind candies, for decorating


Special equipment:
star-shaped cutters; 6-inch wooden or bamboo skewers
  1. Cut a small slice from the base of the watermelon to stabilize it, and then cut the watermelon in half horizontally. Cut 4 stars from the top half of the watermelon, and then save the remaining watermelon for another use.
  2. Cut the flesh of the pineapple into 4 stars. Cut the remaining flesh into 1-inch cubes.
  3. In the base watermelon, score 2 lines down the center of the flesh lengthwise, creating a central strip of watermelon. Scoop out the watermelon flesh on either side of the strip with a large spoon and cut into large chunks.
  4. For the fruit skewers: Thread 4 strawberries on a 6-inch wooden skewer and the remaining 4 strawberries on another 6-inch skewer. Thread each watermelon star on a 6-inch skewer. Thread each pineapple star on a 6-inch skewer.
  5. Put the watermelon chunks, pineapple chunks, mango slices and jicama batons in a large bowl. Add the chamoy, tajin, lemon juice and hot sauce and toss to combine. Pour the fruit into the cavities of the watermelon. Then decorate with the star skewers and the tamarind candies. Sprinkle with more tajin over the top and serve.

Cook’s Note

Chamoy is to Mexico what miso is to Japan. This umami-spiked condiment made from pickled fruits will flavor anything from jicama to nachos. It existed in China before arriving in Mexico in the early 1600s, but didn't gain popularity until the 1990s. Tajín is another popular seasoning in Mexico. It's a spice blend made with chile peppers, salt and dehydrated lime juice. While not very spicy, tajín packs a flavorful punch! Both chamoy and tajín can be found in most Mexican grocery stores or easily ordered online.