There was this pan-Asian restaurant where I went to college that always served a side of cucumber salad with whatever meal you ordered. It was simple and it was perfect. Vinegary, slightly sweet, and slightly spicy. I've tried numerous times to recreate the recipe and while I've gotten close a few times, I always knew I just missing the mark. That is, until now!
I tried this recipe last night and it was exactly what I was looking for, nothing more and nothing less. This is really easy to throw together and can be made ahead. It's a very light and refreshing salad that is a great side to any Asian influenced meal. I served it alongside a honey-ginger grilled chicken breast and brown rice.
Recipe: Japanese Cucumber Salad (Adapted from: For the Love of Cooking( Ingredients:
- 1 english (hothouse) cucumber, peeled
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- Peel the cucumber then cut in half lengthwise. Take a small spoon and scoop out all the seeds from the cucumber. Cut into bite size pieces and place in a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Drain 1 hour. Place on several layers of paper towels. Let stand for 5 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Rinse and pat dry.
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and pepper in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook until reduced to 1/3 cut (about 10 minutes). Remove vinegar reduction from heat; cool. Combine cucumbers and vinegar deduction in a medium bowl; toss well. Enjoy.