Being aware that it is not precisely the most beloved vegetable in our garden, we encourage everyone to give cucumber another chance with different dishes where it is the main protagonist, such as this Japanese-style cucumber salad. With a very low energy intake, its crunchy texture, and a large amount of water and fiber, it is a perfect product for summer.
Once again the Kitchn portal has inspired us to prepare a fresh recipe focused on a single ingredient as the main component. It is not properly a Japanese recipe, but it does follow the style of namasu or the vegetable pickles of this kitchen, with the characteristic dressing.
We have used cucumbers of the baby variety, which are marketed as snacks for snacking, very tasty, and more digestive than their older cousins. If you don’t like seaweed, skip it – you can include some green sprouts, arugula, or finely chopped lettuce buds – and modify the herbs to your liking. Mint and cilantro are extremely fragrant, and if you’re not passionate about them, they can be off-putting. Parsley or dill are good alternatives.
- 2 medium cucumbers,
- ¼ cup of rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Fresh mint
- Fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
How to make Japanese cucumber salad
Wash and dry the cucumbers well, stem if desired, and cut in half lengthwise . Cut each half into about four pieces, about 2.5 or 3 cm, and these in turn into two diagonal halves. Put in a colander, add a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Let it drain for 30-60 minutes to release water.
Take the opportunity to soak the algae as well . The amount is approximate, a tablespoon dry; We can soak more quantity and use the excess for other dishes. Wash and dry the fresh herbs gently, and chop them lightly. Wash and chop the green onion.
For the dressing, emulsify the vinegar with the mirin -when we don’t have it at home, we use white vermouth-, the chili, the sugar (optional), a pinch of salt, the oil and the katsuobushi flakes – nice dry-. The original recipe uses hondashi, but dried fish flakes work great too. Failing that, we can use Asian fish sauce or soy sauce, 3/4 teaspoon.
Drain the cucumber well and pat dry with kitchen paper . Do the same with the seaweed, mincing them a little with a knife. Mix both ingredients and combine with the chives, the dressing and a tablespoon of each minced herb, or to taste. Add some sesame seeds and stir. Let marinate a few minutes, taste and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with lemon zest and more sesame.