This recipe for Chinese cucumber salad features dried red chillies to give it that spicy kick. It's meant to be served as part of a banquet.
- 3 large Lebanese cucumbers
- 1 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (see note), lightly crushed
- 3 dried red chillies, seeded
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp chilli oil sauce (see note)
- 3 tsp white sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time: 20 minutes
Using a vegetable peeler, peel cucumbers into ribbons, turning cucumbers when you reach the seeds. Discard seeds.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, peppercorns and chillies, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Cool.
Whisk together vinegar, sesame oil, chilli oil sauce and sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Stir in garlic mixture, then add cucumbers and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to allow flavours to develop and cucumbers to soften slightly.
• Sichuan peppercorns are the dried red-brown berries from an ash tree and are known to have a slight mouth-numbing effect. They are available from selected delis and Asian food shops.
• Chilli oil sauce, from Asian food shops, consists of chilli flakes, chilli oil and spices. Substitute 2 tsp chilli flakes in 1 tbsp chilli oil.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg70.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.