Chinese pickled cucumber salad with spicy seasonings including chili pepper, Sichuan peppercorn etc. The most famous Chinese cucumber salad is the smashed version, but you must try this one if you are Sichuan food lovers.
The Method of "Spicy Mixing 炝拌"
I believe that many cook use cucumber in different kinds of salad since it taste crispy and a little bit sweet. The most common and regular cucumber salad requires simpler ingredients and there is no need to heat the oil. If you read that post, you will feel wow smashed version is so easy and quick. You only need to pat the cucumber, cut into small pieces and mix in seasonings includes garlic, sesame oil, salt or sometimes chili oil. But I use a totally different method in this recipe. The chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorn need to be heated so they can achieve the highest level of aroma and the pour the hot oil over the cucumber. This method is named as "炝拌". We also have similar theory in stir frying dishes. If you visit a Chinese restaurant, they always offer a "清炒" and "炝炒" method for dark leafy green vegetables. You can see how to "炝炒" a dark green vegetable here. "炝" literally mean the feeling when you fry hot chili peppers in hot oils.
Pickling the cucumber
In order to keep the crunchy texture of the cucumber, there are some preparations needed before the special salad mixing method. Cut the cucumber into halves and then remove the soft pulp inside. Further cut the cucumber into small strips. Add around 1 tablespoon of salt and mix well. Set aside at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours). Then the water content is expelled by salt. Then discard the water. Removing the original water content can make the cucumber much crunchier.
Quickly wash the cucumber to remove extra salt attached and then squeeze the water of the cucumber by hand and then lay the strips in serving plates. Add garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, chopped scallion and chopped fresh peppers.
Heat around 3 tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil firstly, and then turn off fire, add chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorn in. Don't add them in the very beginning of the hot heating, they might be overcooked and taste bitter.
Pour the hot oil along with the chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorn on top of the cucumber.
Pickling Cucumbers Salad
- 6 small cucumber , or 2 long English cucumber
- 1 tbsp. salt , for pickling
- 3 garlic cloves , mashed
- chopped scallion , optional
- 2 tsp. vinegar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 2 Thai chili peppers , chopped into small sections
- 3 tbsp. peanut oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. whole Sichuan peppercorns
- 4 dried chili peppers , cut into sections
- Cut the cucumber into halves and then remove the pulp inside. Further cut the cucumber into small strips. Add around 1 tablespoon of salt and mix well. Set aside at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours). Then the water content is expelled by salt. Then discard the water. Quickly wash the cucumber strips and squeeze water out. Removing the original water content can make the cucumber much crunchier.
- Lay the strips in serving plates. Sprinkle garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, chopped scallion and chopped fresh peppers on top.
- Heat around 3 tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil firstly, and then turn off fire, add chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorn in. Don't add them in the very beginning of the hot heating, they might be overcooked and taste bitter.
- Pour the hot oil along with the chili pepper and Sichuan peppercorn on top of the cucumber. Try to spread the oil on top of chopped garlic to stimulate the aroma.
Other salad side dishes
- Spicy potato slices salad
- Chinese tofu salad
- Hot and Sour lotus root salad
- King oyster mushroom salad
- Zucchini salad, is a similar method used salad with raw zucchini.
Holly | Beyond Kimchee
This looks so refreshing and crunch! Perfect for warm weather days! I love your pictures. So vivid and colorful!
This in spring time, I am always feeling some kind of laziness.
I was wondering what kind of vinegar you used? I have a few to chose from, so really interested what you recommend 🙂
For most of my salad recipes, I am using Chinese black rice vinegar.
It has been a long time hè ? 🙂
Is the sesame oil used here the toasted version or raw version ? Thanks
This should be roasted version since it is added directly in the dish.
Do you know what the ingredients are for this? (see image). Some type of Asian pickled cucumber thingy. From what I can tell, it has cucumber, tomatoes, onions and garlic.
Not sure what the other stuff are. I'm guessing fish sauce, salt and sugar? Probably a cambodian dish.
Have you ever tasted it? For me, it might be sour or sweet and sour. I have not tried this dish previously.
Yes, I have tasted it and I'm trying to make it! lol
I guess it has some white vinegar, a small pinch of sugar, salt, sesame oil. Good luck and happy cooking ahead.
Thank you, Elaine! I made this today -- perfect and delicious on a 40 degree day. I'm only sad that there are no leftovers! Next time two cucumbers...or four!
Thanks so much for the feedback, Chase. A lot of my friend do not eat this at the first glance because it looks not yummy and fancy at all. But I usually ended up with empty bottle after they took the first bite. It is really so great in summer.