This is Spicy Cucumber Salad. The salad looks very simple; but, it tastes really good. It’s a perfect side dish with any Chinese meals, a little spicy to tingle your palate and it’s very refreshing.
Recipe adapted from Sichuan Cookery by Fuchsia Dunlop
Spicy Cucumber Salad
2 Medium Sized Cucumbers
3 tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Peanut Oil
8 Long Dried Chilies or 16 small Sichuanese Chilies, snipped into 3 cm sections
2 tsp Whole Sichuan Peppercorn
3 tsp Sesame Oil
Cut the cucumber into 6 cm sections and quarter lengthwise. Remove all the seeds and pulp with a spoon, and then cut evenly into batons the size of potato chips. Sprinkle the cucumber with salt, mix well and set aside for at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours or more, to draw out some of their juices. Then drain well and press lightly to get rid of as much water as possible. Pat the cucumber pieces dry with paper towels.
Heat a large over a high heat until smoke rises. Add the peanut oil and swirl around to cover the base of the wok. Turn the heat down to a medium and then add the chilies and Sichuan pepper. Stir these swiftly for a few seconds until the smell deliciously spicy and the chilies are turning a darker red color. Take great care not to burn the spices.
Toss in the cucumber pieces and stir for about 10 seconds to coat them in the flavored oil. remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and stir thoroughly before tipping the cucumber on to a serving dish. The cucumber should not be cooked through, just swiftly heated so that it absorbs the flavor of the spices. Allow to cool before serving