The cucumber salad I made a couple of weeks ago kind of reminded me of my two summers spent in Taiwan, but this salad really comes close. Except for a couple of tweaks, it tastes similar to the cucumbers we used to order as a refreshing side dish. I made this salad as a side dish with the most amazing ribs ever, so it didn’t get a lot of attention. But this salad doesn’t need to be the center of attention, it’s very refreshing: the salad helps you to wake up your taste buds and it will cool you off if you’re eating spicy food.
Recipe from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi.
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
15 g fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tsp sea salt
2 large garlic cloves
600 g cucumbers, small ones or big ones
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
3 tbsp chopped coriander
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sliced red onion, mix well and leave aside to marinate for about an hour.
Place the ginger and salt in a mortar and pound well with a pestle. Add the garlic and continue pounding until it is also well crushed and broken into pieces (stop pounding before it disintegrates into a purée). Use a spatula to scrape the contents of the mortar into the bowl with the onion and dressing. Stir together.
Cut the cucumbers lengthways in half. If you’re using large cucumbers, scrape out the wet inside of the cucumber with a small spoon. Cut each half on an angle into 5 mm thick slices. Add the cucumber to the bowl, followed by the sesame seeds and coriander. Stir well and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
Before serving, stir the salad again, top out some of the liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the bowl and adjust the seasoning.