Pepino Melon – Mint Gazpacho – a Tropical Refreshing Soup

The less known pepino melon fruit is native to South America and now widely available in China when in season. It is a small oval fruit with a firm, smooth skin. The yellow colour and the purple stripes develop when the fruit ripens. The size of the fruit can vary from the size of a plum size up to the size of a big apple. 

pepino fruit

How pepino melon grows

The pepino bush is a perennial plant, meaning it will live for several years. The bush grows up to 2 metres tall and benefits from staking or caging, like a tomato plant. If you don’t mind sharing your harvest, the pepino will spread as a ground cover. 

The plant grows well in frost-free climates. The bush will be covered in light blue flowers which develop to fruit after 30-50 days. The long green leaves resemble those from the capsicum plants but are larger.

Health benefits of pepino melon

  • Pepinos are low calorie fruits endowed with health benefiting dietary-fibre, minerals and vitamins.
  • The antioxidants present are scientifically proven to be anti-inflammatory, skin-protective and may help prevent cancers.
  • In addition to β-carotene, it contains average levels of vitamin A and flavonoid antioxidants such as lutein.
  • Fresh pepino melon is a moderately good source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium.
  • They also have average levels of vital B complex vitamins as well some minerals.

The taste of pepino melon

This fruit has a smooth, juicy, and creamy textured flesh which is mildly sweet. The flavour is quite like honeydew melon with a touch of cucumber.

pepino fruit cut in 4 pieces

The sweetest flavour is, as with most fruits, when the fruit is completely ripe. The seeds and skin are edible, but when pepino is ripe the skin will be tougher and so it’s better to peel.

Unripe pepino melons are usually prepared like squash.

The semi-ripe version will be crunchy and eaten like apples with skin. Another way to prepare is diced in salsa dips.

The ripest pepinos are best peeled and used in a fruit salad or grilled before serving with ice cream. Some lemon or lime juice is often added to the ripe version to balance the sweetness.

We decided to make a gazpacho with it! 

pepino gazpacho

Pepino Melon – Mint Gazpacho

The flavour of pepino is quite like honeydew melon with a touch of cucumber.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetisers & Starters, Soup, Vegetarian
Cuisine Chinese, South American
Servings 4 people
Calories 32 kcal

EQUIPMENT (click pictures for details)



  • Soak the chia seeds with 2 tbsp of apple juice for 30 minutes.
  • Peel the ripe pepino, cut in quarters. The seeds are edible and don’t need to be removed.
  • Mix 2 tsp of the soaked chia seeds in a blender together with the mint, spring onions, the rest of the apple juice and the pepino. Blend until smooth, chill for 30 minutes before serving.


  • The chia seeds need to be soaked in a liquid such as water, juice or a plant-based milk for a minimum of 30 minutes. Soaking overnight is preferable. 
  • Soaked chia seeds work as a thickening agent with other food.
  • The pepino melon oxidizes rapidly, a dash of lemon juice or tartaric acid will prevent this.

Nutrition for 1 portion

Calories: 32kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSodium: 3mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 176IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Keyword fruit, melon, pepino
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was! #culinaryambition

Highlights of pepino melon taste

As we’ve already mentioned, the health benefits of this fruit are numerous.

The added bonus is that it tastes quite nice and it is refreshing to eat. Its fragile and light flavour pairs well with other fruits and even vegetables such as spinach. It can be used in various salads and you can also sprinkle the pepino melon with your favourite spice to temper the sweetness.

Lots of people find other uses such as serving the fruit as a side dish with meat. Or using it in a sauce, dip or salsa. The pepino melon’s taste makes it extremely versatile. It can be prepared as a dessert, salad, or side dish, and can be savoury or sweet.

Because of its taste and texture, some people call it “melon pear” or “sweet cucumber”. In fact, the Spanish word pepino means cucumber in English.

One Comment

  1. Super-Duper blog! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am taking your feeds also

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