Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recipe #21: three Asian cucumber dishes

I love cucumbers. Perhaps it's because we plant them every year. Homegrown cucumbers are fresh, tender and crispy, qualities you won't find in cucumbers sold at farmers' markets.

As soon as the blossom start popping up, I would go outside a few times every day to see how much they've grown. If only they took a day to grow, a la Jack and the Beanstalk!

Squirrels and birds never overlook the cucumbers that are so good. The sweet flowers are eaten by the birds as soon as they blossom. Sometimes, I am tempted to wait another day for a cucumber to get bigger, only to find that all that's left of it are peels on the ground. There are no tears for this! Our record was two surviving cucumbers out of 20, the victims of snails and slugs! Thus, we have no choice but to put a net around them. When admiring our backyard, the net seems unnatural.

Cucumbers are delicious no matter how you prepare them. Today I will share three (yes, three) recipes!

Cantonese pickled cucumbers (中國廣東式醃黃瓜)


1. 3-4 cucumbers (2 if using Japanese cucmbers, depending on size, abou 1 lb.)
2. 1/2 tsp. salt
3. 1 Tbsp. vinegar
4. 1 Tbsp. sugar


1. Slice cucumbers.
2. Rub the salt onto the cucumbers and aside for at least 30 min.
3. After half an our, you can drain the juice that appears. You can taste a piece to see if its'salty enough. If not, add a little more salt. If too salty, rinse with rinking water and drain.
4. Mix vinegar and sugar well and pour into container with cucumbers. "massage" them again. Marinate for at least 6 hours. Serve cold.


1. Cucumbers tase good when sweet.
2. Most Chinese peple treat it as a side dish, or serve it with roast duck or beef shaobing.
3. Cucumers produce juice every so often, so you must occasionally flip the contents of the container. If you do not eant to do this, then double the amount of sugar and vinegar.

Japanese-style cucumber with miso dressing (日式味噌沙拉)


1. 1-2 Japanese cucmbers (about 1 lb.)
2. 1 1/2 Tbsp. miso
3. 1 Tbsp. mirin (a Japanese seasoning)
4. 2 tsp. tempura dipping sauce
5. 1 Tbsp. seasame oil


1. Slice the cucumber into round pieces.
2. Combine miso, mirin and dipping sauce, and mix well
3. Heat seasame oil in frying pan and saute cucmbers. When medium cooked, turn of heat and put on plate.
4. Pour mixture of dressing so that it coats the cucmbers


1. The sesame oil coating prevents the cucumber form juicing too much.
2. The type of miso is up to you. There are many different brands of miso with different levels of saltiness, so you will have to adjust itto your liking.
3. If used as tapas, this dish goes well with beer or sake.
4. Our cucumbers are very long (1.5')so we need only one. Fo r store-bought cucumbers, you will need 1 or 2.

Korean-style cucumbers (韓式黃瓜)


1. 1-2 Japanese cucmbers (about 1 lb.)
2. 1/2 tsp. salt
3. 1 green onion or 1 hot red pepper
4. 1 tsp. sesame oil


1. Slice cucumbers as thinly as possible. If you make them transparent-like, the effect will be very good.
2. Gently rub salt into cucumbers. Let stand for a few minutes.
3. When cucmbers are soft, drain extra juice.
4. Finely chop the green onions (or peppers) crosswise.
5. Drizzle seasame oil over cucmbers and mix gently.
6. Put onion (or peppers) on top of cucumbers.


1. Real Korean cucmbers are usually served with finely minced garlic. If you want to try the real Korean taste, you can add the garlic nd mix well.

No comments:

Post a Comment