Refreshing Korean cucumber salad/pickle

smashed cucumbers with soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli oil

smashed cucumbers with soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli oil

I used to eat this in Japan all the time. It's refreshing, full of sesame flavoured yumminess, and has just a little warmth to give it a different flavour to most Japanese pickley things.

Maybe I was born in the wrong country. I love living in Australia and am so lucky to be living in Redcliffe. But, I love Japanese food. Real Japanese food. Like the food Japanese people eat everyday. I eat it quite a bit, but can't get all the ingredients all the time. I miss it a lot.

Most Japanese food is flavoured with different ratios and combinations of fish stock, soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, and sugar. Korean food uses more sesame oil and more chilli, making a nice change of flavour but keeping the lightness of Asian food.

You can use continental, Lebanese or pickle-sized Lebanese cucumbers in this recipe. I used the little ones as they smash up nicely and are less watery than the others.

Ingredients:

  • 1 continental, 2-3 Lebanese or about 12-16 pickle-sized Lebanese cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chilli oil or a pinch flakes

Method:

The chilli oil we have is mildly warming and has garlic in it. By smashing the cucumbers, there is more surface area for the dressing to soak in than if the cucumbers were cut.

The chilli oil we have is mildly warming and has garlic in it. By smashing the cucumbers, there is more surface area for the dressing to soak in than if the cucumbers were cut.

  • Smash the cucumbers with a rolling pin or something round and heavy. If you tap them, they will split into uneven thirds usually.
  • Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli oil/flakes together in a bowl.
  • Pour over cucumbers.
  • Marinate from 10 minutes - 24 hours.
  • Mix up occasionally when all the sauce sinks to the bottom.
  • Serve straight out of the fridge to keep it cool and refreshing.

I prefer to marinate for 24 hours, but 10 minutes gives the flavour.
You can add a little vinegar (1-2 teaspoons) if you like a bit of sour. If I do, I use rice vinegar.

Immediately after adding dressing

Immediately after adding dressing

After marinating almost 24 hours. The area around the seeds has started to soften due to the salt in the soy sauce. The main part of the cucumber is still crispy, and the flavour has soaked into the outer edges.

After marinating almost 24 hours. The area around the seeds has started to soften due to the salt in the soy sauce. The main part of the cucumber is still crispy, and the flavour has soaked into the outer edges.

Try it out. Let us know how it was. Just keep cool on these hot humid days.