As a refreshing summertime treat, cucumbers are a popular snack in Beijing. People can often be seen merely walking around with fresh cucumbers in their mouths while they visit parks, museums, and other tourist destinations. The idea of maintaining such a healthy routine was so appealing that I bought one from a seller in the park. It tasted fresh and healthy, but if you want to add some heat, here’s a simple Cucumber Salad with Asian Dressing recipe to try.
There are many various types of cucumbers, but the most prevalent type in China is the oriental variety, and I remember growing it in pots on my New Jersey patio.
They can be scrubbed off the little bumps that appear on them as they mature into their long, slender forms. These are delicious in a cucumber salad or in a pitcher of water with strawberries and lemons. The fact that they don’t produce massive seeds is a major plus. Alternatively, you can remove the seeds from conventional garden cucumbers with a spoon if you can’t find a seedless kind.
Actually, cucumbers prepared in this salad fashion are quite prevalent in Chinese cuisine. Plenty of raw garlic and soy are present. You can eat it as a salad or a side.
- 3 medium to large cucumbers
- 1-2 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon of olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- Cut the cucumbers into 2- to 3-inch sticks and either peel or scrub them. Throw them all into a big basin.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining dressing ingredients (excluding the sesame seeds).
- Toss the cucumbers with the dressing and drain any excess water that may have leaked out of them. Sprinkle the cucumbers with sesame seeds (if using) and serve as soon as possible once they have been coated.
- It was approximately 97 degrees outdoors when I made this, so I chilled the cucumbers in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before mixing everything together. A gently sweet plum wine we picked up in Chengdu went perfectly with the salad. The dish is refreshing and delicious.