Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
•1 large or 2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled
•1 teaspoon salt
•3 tablespoons cooking oil, like peanut or vegetable
•2 cloves garlic, minced
pepper, ground or whole, or substitute red chili flakes Sichuan
•2 tablespoons rice vinegar
•2 teaspoons sesame oil
•1 tablespoon sugar
•1 or 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
1. Cut the cucumber(s) in half lengthwise, then cut each half again so you have quartered strips. Cut or scoop out the seedy middle section. Slice each strip into 3cm (1 inch) cubes. Put the cucumbers in a bowl, and toss with salt. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes, as the salt draws out excess moisture from the cucumbers.
2. Heat a small pan on medium-low heat. Add cooking oil, then add garlic and
pepper. Cook until fragrant, but careful to not to let the garlic burn. Set
aside in a small dish to cool. Sichuan
3. Drain the cucumbers through a strainer or sieve, and return them to the bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and chili garlic paste. Pour the mixture over the cucumbers. Add in the garlic and pepper that was cooling, and mix well. Serve at room temperature, or chill in the fridge for up to a day to serve cold.
Submitted by Sarah Marder