Even though it’s snowing outside today, I’m craving something fresh. And what came to mind is this Chinese Cucumber Salad.
Cucumber is definitely a summer vegetable, but where I live they’re pretty much available year around. And they’re always good, unlike buying a tomato out of season. My only rule for cucumbers is to make sure they’re rock hard. No mushy soft cucumbers for me.
This recipe is based on one from my favorite Foods of the World series by Time-Life – this one called Chinese Cooking.
I love this salad year round because it’s spicy, sweet, and tart. Plus, I get to use a lovely fresh vegetable. You could add other things to the salad, but I like it just as it is. See what you think.
Cucumber Salad with Spicy Dressing
1 large cucumber
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
1/4 teaspoon or more Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peel the cucumber.
Slice it in half, then de-seed it. This can be done with a knife, by cutting into the middle of the cucumber forming a V shape, and then removing the seeds in one piece.
Or, you can simply scoop the seeds out using a spoon or melon-baller.
Place the de-seeded cucumber halves open-side down on paper towels to drain for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by placing all of the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
If you love Chinese food but don’t own sesame seed oil, shown below on the right next to Tabasco sauce, you should definitely buy some.
Slice the cucumber halves and place them in a bowl. Stir the dressing to make sure the sugar and salt has dissolved, then add to the cucumbers.
Stir to combine, and let the cucumbers marinate in this dressing for at least one half an hour, stirring occasionally.
When you’re ready, serve the salad at room temperature. I sprinkled mine with black sesame seeds just for fun.
note: This recipe actually calls for 2 cucumbers but I like a lot of dressing. For normal people who don’t love to drink vinegar, stick with this same amount of dressing and 2 cucumbers. I also like quite a few shakes of Tabasco, but that’s a personal preference of course!