When I say that this Japanese cucumber salad recipe is the bomb I may be ever so slightly biased as I have a strange obsession with cucumber salad (or half pickled cucumbers). When I lived in Toronto we used to go to a stellar eatery called Free Times Cafe where you could eat pickled cucumber salad and latkes to your heart’s content. Now that I live in London the best place I’ve found for this tasty side dish is Fischer’s Restaurant, slightly more upscale than good old Free Times but they’ve nailed the pickled cucumber and I keep going back for more.
Not that it’s difficult to get wrong. This recipe is fundamentally the side dish for the culinarily impaired and is easy to prepare in a beautifully basic three steps.
- Put the ingredients in the bowl
- Put in the fridge
And that’s it folks, you’re done.
If you’re serving them as part of a dinner party they are a godsend as you can prep them beforehand. Recently, I served them with steak, an unexpected pairing, but the fresh zingy flavour of the cukes cut through the richness of the meat and made a great combo.
There are many different versions of making half pickled cucumber salad and you’ll find it in a lot of world cuisines. This one that my Grandmother saved is a Japanese version and has a bit of chilli in it; rather than dill which you’d find in a central European version. This must have been a later addition to my Grandmother’s collection, the glossy magazine paper is a dead giveaway.
How To Make Cucumber Salad
- 2/3 Cup (150ml) Rice Vinegar
- 1/3 Cup (75ml) water
- 1 tsp (5ml) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (2ml) red pepper flakes
- 4 mini cucumbers or 1 large one thinnly sliced
- 1/2 cup (125ml) thinly sliced green onion
Thinly slice the cucumber. You can peel it or not depending on your taste. Combine the rice vinegar, water and sugar, and chilli flakes in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the cucumber and chill for at least 1 hour. Toss in the green onion and drain the liquid and they are ready to serve.
What Is Rose’s Recipe’s?
My Grandmother (Rose) collected hundreds of recipes in her lifetime, many of which she never had the chance to try. Subsequently, these were passed on to me.
Now I’m cooking my way through all of them, the good the bad and the dated! As a memorial to my grandmother and also as a trip into the culinary past.