Chinese Cold Cucumber Side Dish

I made this cucumber side dish to go with the duck soup, then wound up eating it with some frozen potstickers I had in the fridge – which was not ideal, because the potsticker dipping sauce is a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar, and those are also the base for the cucumber dressing. I should have stuck to Plan A. This spicy and tangy cucumber dish really is ideal with rich or fatty dishes, like duck, or Tungpo Pork:

1 large cucumber

1 1/2 T vinegar

1 1/2 T sugar

2 tsp. Chinese soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce

Peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, so that you have two boat-like halves. Slice the cucumber halves in 1/8″ slices. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve all the sugar. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the cucumber slices and mix well to coat each piece. Serve the cucumber in individual small bowls for each diner, with just a bit of the dressing spooned over.

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