Friday, November 05, 2010

Asian Cucumber Salad

I made this light and fresh cucumber salad as a side dish to mustard- and brown sugar-rubbed salmon. It was absolutely delicious! I loved the Asian taste to it as well as how crunchy and refreshing it was. I didn’t use the Thai chili pepper that is called for, since I don’t like my food too spicy; I used some dried Korean pepper instead, and it was perfect. I only added the dressing to the salad in the plate; I had a total of 3 servings, and the last one kept very well in the fridge overnight (I added the remaining dressing to it at lunch time the next day). I’ll be sure to add this recipe to my regular rotation.

3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about ½ lime)
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
½ tsp dried Korean pepper
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 large cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced
¼ cup loosely packed, roughly chopped fresh basil
¼ cup loosely packed, roughly chopped fresh mint

Put the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook until reduced to about 1 ½ Tbsp. Pour into a serving bowl and let cool about 10 minutes.

Stir in the lime juice, ginger, pepper and oil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper if needed.

In a big salad bowl, mix the cucumber, basil, and mint. Add the dressing and serve immediately.

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