|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Traditionally, Chinese cucumber salad is made by heating cucumbers in a spicy mixture of sesame oil, chili peppers, and Szechuan peppercorns. In this quick and easy recipe for cucumber salad, cucumbers are tossed in a red wine vinegar dressing spiked with minced ginger and chili flakes.
Note: If you find the sesame flavor a little too strong, reduce it to 1 teaspoon.
5 Pickling cucumbers (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light Chinese soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Cut the ends off the pickling cucumbers. Cut in half, then lengthwise into quarters, and into strips about the width of French fries.
Place the cucumber strips in a colander and sprinkle the salt over. Let the cucumbers sit for 30 minutes. Note: I find that weighing down the cucumbers during salting so they release more water keeps them crisp and helps prevent a watery dressing from collecting at the bottom of the bowl. I used 2 resealable plastic bags about 3/4 full with water; you can also use a saucer. Pat dry with paper towels to remove the excess water.
While the cucumbers are desalting, make up the dressing: Whisk together the red wine vinegar, soy sauce, Asian sesame oil, brown sugar, fresh ginger root, and red pepper flakes.
Lay out the cucumber strips in a dish and pour the dressing over. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the cucumbers for 4 hours or overnight. Serve the cucumber salad cold.