Cucumbers with a kick! Makes a great side dish to any Chinese meal. I'm not too sure about the amounts of soy sauce, wine, and vinegar, because I usually just wing it, but they should be in equal parts. Because the cucumbers taste best when marinated overnight, I like to use a low-salt soy sauce. I learned this from my mother and make it about once a month during the summer, when Japanese cucumbers are available. You will probably have to get them from an Asian market, as I've never seen them at major supermarket chains.
SERVES 4 -6
- 3 long japanese cucumbers (normal cucumbers aren't crispy enough)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice wine
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon whole szechuan peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon Chinese chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
Slice the cucumbers lengthwise, so that each piece has skin on it.
Do not use the center of the cucumber, where the seeds are (it gets too mushy).
Peel the garlic and smash it (with a knife, for example).
Each clove should look like you dropped a dictionary on it.
Heat the oil on medium-high in a wok or similarly shaped saucepan.
When the oil is hot, add the pepper, garlic, and cucumbers.
Stir fry for 30-40 seconds, until hot.
Add the soy sauce, rice wine, rice vinegar, and hot sauce.
Heat to a boil, then remove from heat.
Although you can eat it now, it will taste better after marinating overnight.
Best served cold.