"Cool as a cucumber" takes on a new meaning with this great dish I "recently" found. As we're heading into warmer weather, I thought I'd make this cucumber salad. Cucumber salads are all more or less the same; though delicious, the formula can get a bit dull. This recipe from Sustainable Pantry, however has a decidedly Asian twist with the incorporation of sesame oil and seaweed. Don't let the seaweed turn you off; in addition to all the nutrients and health benefits seaweed provides, it has a wonderful flavor reminiscent of the ocean's bounty. This flavor, combined with the intoxicating aroma of sesame seed oil, makes for a multi-layered experience. The cucumbers bring their familiar cold crispness, contrasting the slightly chewy texture of the seaweed. Sesame seed oil, sweet cucumber, tart vinegar, and seaweed combine well for a distinct and enjoyable dish.
I used frozen hai dai (海帶) and dried wakame along with a little hijiki when I made this cucumber seaweed salad. Hai dai is a Chinese salted kelp, and the same one I used in Miso Soup and Bean Sprout Soup. (You can see what it looks like in those pictures.) It's the thicker kind you can usually find at the Asian grocery tied in knots or sliced. I'm not sure of the proper English name, but here's the Wikipedia link. Wakame is a Japanese seaweed often used in Miso Soup. For the Hai Dai, I just chopped it up, and for the wakame, I just crunched it up a bit more. I didn't rehydrate the wakame before using since I figured it'd be tastier if I let it hydrate in the cucumbers/rice vinegar/sesame oil instead of water. Plus, then you don't have to worry about draining the salad or having pools of liquid at the bottom since the seaweed will soak it up! Now, there's a multi-tasker. :)
Yield: 2 servings
|1||cucumber, sliced and quartered|
|1 teaspoon||sesame oil|
|1 tablespoon||rice vinegar|
|1. Gather all materials.|
|2. Combine all materials and shake together.|