NYT Chinese Smashed Cucumbers

We’ve been distributing cucumbers in our weekly CSA for many weeks. This week Queensbury and North Country shareholders will both receive cucumbers for their shares. 

We know it can sometimes get boring always using cucumbers for dipping in hummus and in green salads, so this recipe should bring a more exciting cucumber recipe into your repertoire. This recipe was recommended to us by a shareholder who mentioned that she loves Chinese smashed cucumbers. It is a great side to a meal or a great afternoon snack.

Here’s what you need: 

  •         -8 to 10 mini cucumbers, 4 medium-size or 2 large greenhouse)

  • -1+ tsp. kosher salt

  • -2+ tsp. granulated sugar
  •       -1 ½ tbsp. rice vinegar
  • -2 tsp. sesame oil
  • -2 tsp. soy sauce
  • -1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • -2 large garlic cloves, minced 
  •           -Red pepper flakes, optional garnish
  •           -Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • -2 tsp. toasted white sesame seeds, optional garnish

What to do: 

  1. 1. Cut cucumbers crosswise into pieces that are about 4 inches long each. Chop each piece in half lengthwise.
  2. 2. Place several cucumbers cut side down. Lay the blade of a large knife flat on top the cucumber and push down softly with your other hand. Allow the skin to crack and the flesh will break down and the seeds will separate. Continue until the entire piece is smashed. Break or slice diagonally into bite-size pieces, leaving the seeds behind.
  3. 3. Move the cucumber pieces in a strainer and toss with a big pinch of salt and a big pinch of sugar. Place a plastic bag filled with ice on top of the cucumbers to serve as a weight and place the strainer over a bowl. Allow to drain 15 to 30 minutes on the counter, or in the refrigerator until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.
  4. Dressing: 
  5. 4. Combine salt, sugar and rice vinegar in a bowl. Dissolve the salt and sugar by stirring. Mix in sesame oil and soy sauce.
  6. 5. To serve, shake cucumbers well to drain off any remaining liquid and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and mix. Combine half the dressing, half the garlic and the red pepper flakes to taste, and toss. Continue adding dressing until cucumbers are well coated. 
  7. 6. Taste and add more pepper flakes and garlic if needed. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro and sesame seeds. Yum!
Source: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017629-chinese-smashed-cucumbers-with-sesame-oil-and-garlic


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