Since today is the first day of summer, I thought I would bring back one of my favorites, Szechuan Cucumbers, for those who missed it the first go round last July. This is based on an old Eating Well recipe that I’ve adapted to be my own through the years. It is reminiscent of a wonderful Thai restaurant that is no longer in business; at dim sum they offered a small plate of crunchy, spicy cucumbers with just the right amount of acid. It was heaven and I would have been happy just eating plate after plate of cucumbers if I could. And now that I have a similar recipe, I can!
This is fast, easy, and delicious with virtually no calories. I have made substitutions through the years: yellow onions instead of red, peeled cucumbers, no ginger, no peanuts, eaten right away, and while it is still tasty, it’s not perfect. This may be the one instance where I find it’s best to actually follow the recipe!
• 2 cucumbers, unpeeled, sliced horizontally, seeded, and cut into half-moon slices
• 1 jalapeno, minced
• ½ small red onion, thinly sliced (or more, depending on the size of your cucumbers, if they’re large, use more onion)
• Minced ginger, about a tablespoon or more to taste
• ½ cup rice vinegar
• 4 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free if necessary)
• *1 Tablespoon sugar (*Note: The original recipe called for sugar, but I sometimes leave it out. Feel free to use if you want to balance out the vinegar and soy sauce.)
• ¼ cup chopped peanuts
In a bowl, add the cucumber, onion, pepper, and ginger and mix. Measure out the liquid, mix together, add to the bowl, and mix again. Place in refrigerator for an hour or two before serving. Right before serving, give it one last stir, add the chopped peanuts, and enjoy!