Spicy Cucumber Salad

Summer is in full swing which means by dinner time it is so hot I never feel like eating a proper dinner. Most often, I opt for cold salads and fresh fruit to help cool me down. One of the salads I have been loving lately is a spicy cucumber salad. I started making it last summer when my mom planted several cucumber plants. We had to get creative with what to make with all of the vegetables.

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The dressing I created to go on my cucumbers is Asian inspired. You can typically find all of the ingredients in the ethnic food isle of your grocery store. I mix together sesame seeds (I also keep the extras from Chinese takeout in my freezer), rice vinegar (I prefer the unseasoned version), sesame oil, soy sauce, chili garlic paste, and granulated sugar. Fair warning, it is spicy. If you wish to tame the heat simply leave out the jalapeño pepper or reduce the amount of the chili garlic paste.

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The first step in the recipe says to season the sliced cucumber well with salt and let sit for one hour. This step helps to draw out the moisture in the cucumbers before adding the more flavorful liquid, the dressing. This step is not absolutely necessary, however, if you have the time it is recommended.


Spicy Cucumber Salad

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Ingredients:

1 english cucumber

salt

1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and minced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili garlic paste

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Slice the cucumber very thin and place them in a bowl. Season well with salt and cover. Refrigerate for about one hour to help draw out excess moisture.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine minced jalapeño, sesame seeds, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, chili garlic paste, and granulated sugar. Season with salt to taste.

  3. Remove cucumbers from the refrigerator and drain off any excess liquid. Pour rice vinegar mixture over cumbers, tossing to coat them. Taste for seasoning.

Serves 4-6.