Chinese Cold Cucumber Salad

“Salad” I guess is a bit of a misnomer. But then again, what exactly is a salad?

Salad (noun):
1. a usually cold dish consisting of vegetables, as lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, covered with a dressing and sometimes containing seafood, meat, or eggs.
2. any of various dishes consisting of foods, as meat, seafood, eggs, pasta, or fruit, prepared singly or combined, usually cut up, mixed with a dressing, and served cold: chicken salad; potato salad.
3. any herb or green vegetable, as lettuce, used for salads or eaten raw.

So I guess by definition 3, it is a salad.

Anyway, it is a really nice cold dish to eat in the summer. I originally learned how to make this in a cooking class in Beijing, but then forgot about it. I don’t really remember why I remembered it, but I got this recipe from Tiny Urban Kitchen.

2 medium sized cucumbers
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
dried red pepper flakes

Cut the ends off the cucumbers, then peel half the skin in alternating strips. Cut each cucumber in half length-wise, then cut each of those halves in half length-wise. Chop into 1-2 inch pieces.

Put pieces in a bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let sit for around 30 minutes, then drain the water that has come out of the cucumbers. Squeeze cucumbers, add more salt and let sit for another 15-20 minutes. Drain again.

In a bowl, toss cucumber with garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, and sugar. Place in a single layer in a dish and allow to marinate for a few hours or overnight if possible. Sprinkle with dried red pepper flakes and serve chilled.


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