A recipe for ‘Otai (Tongan Watermelon Drink)! Shredded watermelon is combined with crushed pineapple and coconut for a light and refreshing drink.
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This ‘Otai is a great drink for a hot summer day. It is also very quick to prepare- just combine shredded watermelon with canned pineapple, shredded coconut, and coconut milk in a large bowl. Add in enough water to reach your desired consistency (some use coconut water).
Stir in sugar to taste and serve chilled with crushed ice for a delicious and refreshing drink. Other variations may include mango or mountain apple (fekkika). Check out The Polynesian Kitchen for a Mango Otai recipe.
A Few Tips
The drink should not be smooth. The shredded watermelon and coconut along with the crushed pineapple create a wonderful contrast in texture best enjoyed with a spoon.
After slicing the watermelon in half, it shreds easily with the help of a fork. You can also cut the watermelon into slices and grate them against the large holes of a grater into the bowl. I use a coconut grater to shred the fresh coconut (and melons like in this Melon sa Malamig- Filipino Cantaloupe Drink), but the large holes of a grater can be used for this too.
Some recipes use heavy cream or evaporated milk in place of the coconut milk.
Adjust the amount of sugar to taste. Around three tablespoons (40 grams) is usually perfect for me, but it may vary based on the ripeness/sweetness of the watermelon.
Serve the Otai cold, especially with crushed ice. If placing in the refrigerator for later, stir well before drinking to blend everything together again.
Looking for more refreshing summer drinks?
‘Otai (Tongan Watermelon Drink) Recipe
‘Otai (Tongan Watermelon Drink)
- 2.3 pounds (1 kg) shredded, seedless watermelon around 5 cups
- 20 ounces (567 grams) canned crushed pineapple with juice
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) shredded fresh coconut
- 13.5 ounces (400 milliliters) canned coconut milk
- 2-3 cups (473-710 milliliters) water
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar to taste
- In a large bowl, combined the shredded watermelon (use a fork, large-holed grater, or melon scraper to shred) with the crushed pineapple and juice, shredded coconut, and coconut milk.
- Mix in 2-3 cups water to desired consistency. Stir in sugar to taste.
- Serve chilled with crushed ice if desired.