If you want to seem fancy af when serving up any Asian dishes, this is one of my go-to sides. The biggest thing I want you to take away from this though is that it encompasses the quintessential building blocks of a simple salad: greens, dressing/vinaigrette, and even pickle (like the technique, not dill, baby).
Once you understand the balance between sweet and zesty, you’ll (hopefully) be experimenting with all kinds of oils and vinegars! Breathtaking I know! Anyways, here’s how to make it. Thinking of subbing anything? You won’t hurt my feelings, I promise.
Produces 2-3 cups worth
2 English Cucumbers (they’re everywhere, but if you choose to use regular ones, peel them and remove the seeds!)
2 tbsp of Rice Vinegar
2 tbsp of Sesame Oil
2 tsp of Honey
1 tsp of Sugar
1 tsp of Sesame Seeds
1/2 tsp of Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 tsp of Grated Ginger
Kosher Salt to taste
1.) You don’t have to peel English cucumbers, since their skin is not as bitter or thick as regular cucumbers. Only thing you should really be doing to prep for the salad is slicing very thinly either using a very sharp knife or a mandoline (the veggie slicer thingy)!
2.) Thoroughly mix together your vinegar, oil, honey, sugar, and ginger in a separate bowl. Set aside.
3.) Dress your cucumbers with the vinaigrette by tossing gently! You can add sesame seeds and crushed red pepper flakes to your liking.
4.) Taste for salt.
5.) Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. The longer, the more the cucumber will begin to become tender and pickly.
6.) Serve as a side to something savory. Grilled teriyaki, satay, etc. The salad helps cut through the saltiness! Enjoy.
So, like I had mentioned in the intro, this is more of a ‘technique’ than a recipe. The reason being that you can sub the cucumbers for just about anything! Not literally, but “just about” anything – meaning similar things! Radishes? Carrots? Raw sliced ginger? You know the vibes.
Same with changing the flavor profile but wanting to accomplish something similarly salad-like. For example: baby greens & balsamic vinegar & olive oil instead! Orrrr just about anything with olive oil really. You know the vibes.
Until next time!