With summer already here, I’ve turned to finding new recipes that are both easy and refreshing to beat the heat. This cucumber salad, although relatively simple, is a refreshing and light snack or side dish to any meal. Although the dish only has cucumbers in it, the sauces and spices elevate the dish and make it a complex burst of flavor with every bite. It resembles the cucumber salad at Din Tai Fung, a Chinese restaurant chain originating in Taiwan. Because this is one of my favorite dishes, I took it upon myself to find an adaptation of it. This dish is best served cold, but other than that, you have plenty of ways to adapt it to your preferences. Check out the ingredients listed here, or add and subtract spices and condiments to suit your taste.
- 2 large thin-skinned cucumbers
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
- Fresh ground pepper
- Slice the cucumbers, and sprinkle a generous amount of salt on them.
- Let the cucumber slices sit in a colander for about 15 minutes, rinse and then dry them on a paper towel.
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, cayenne and pepper. Then whisk in sesame oil and sunflower or grapeseed oil.
- Put the sliced cucumber on a plate or bowl, and add sauce to the cucumbers.
- Toss the cucumbers with the scallions, and chill until ready to serve
This cucumber salad is surely the perfect summer dish and a crowd favorite in my house. It’s refreshing but oddly maintains a salty, satisfying flavor. The ingredients and preparation may be a bit tedious, but they are definitely worth it in the end! And even better, the salad stays fresh in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Its simplicity allows it to be paired with most meals, although I usually finish the dish before it even makes it to the dinner table.