Friday, May 15, 2015

Japanese Cucumber Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Cucumbers have a special place in my heart.

I remember that it was favorite diet food - cucumber salad - a couple of decades ago when we were college students.  As college bud S says, back in those days we thought we were fat, but now we realize we may have been chunky but we were (definitely) not fat.

Anyway, I was killing time at the supermarket the other day and I saw organic Japanese cucumbers!  I immediately thought of hubby and how much he liked the Japanese cucumbers we had a couple of weeks ago.  I also remember how much I liked cucumbers and suddenly I had a craving for it.   

The salad begins, of course, with Japanese cucumbers.  A pack contained 3 pieces.

My mom told me that cucumbers needed preparation otherwise it would exude water and ruin the dish.  I assume that the preparation applied to all cucumbers, even the Japanese ones, so after peeling strips of skin then slicing the cucumbers into not-so-thin slices, I tossed them with sea salt.  The salted cucumbers sat for about 10 minutes (after which a significant amount of liquid was out, then I rinse them, drained them for another 10 minutes then patted the pieces dry with (a lot of) kitchen towels!  Chill in the refrigerator while the dressing is being prepared

Toss the dressing with the cucumbers.  A side note here - I find that too much dressing tends to overpower the cucumbers so I add the dressing gradually.  I usually have leftover dressing.

As far as I am concerned, I am perfectly happy with the salad as is.  But hubby likes crabsticks and asked if we had any.  We had about 7 pieces left, so I added them to the salad, and added some dressing as well.  Turns out my dressing was just enough with the crabsticks added.

Recipe:  Japanese Cucumber and Crabstick Salad with Creamy Sesame Dressing

3 pieces Japanese cucumbers
Sea salt
7 pieces crab sticks (optional)

For the dressing:
3 tablespoons roasted white sesame seeds
2 to 3 tablespoons Japanese mayonnaise
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
½ tablespoon sugar
½ to 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Prepare the cucumbers by rinsing, peeling, and slicing the cucumbers.  Toss then soak the sliced cucumbers in sea salt for about 10 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly and squeeze any liquid out.  Pat dry.  Chill in the meantime.

Mix the dressing ingredients together then toss with cucumbers and crabsticks, if using.

Chill until ready to serve.

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