Taiwanese Cucumber salad
This Taiwanese cucumber salad (涼拌小黃瓜) is a homely cold dish which can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes, minus waiting time. So I call it quick pickled cucumbers. It’s great as both an appetizer and a side-dish to any meal. I made this in my little Taipei kitchen :)
Cooking from Taipei:
Such dishes are popularly known as “涼拌菜” (liangbancai) in Taiwan, which roughly translates as cold side dishes. In Taiwan’s local eateries such as their beef noodles joint, there will be one section with plates of liangbancai which you can pick and choose to go with your meal. This cold cucumber salad is one of them. It is so easy to make, it’s probably on the home menu of every Taiwanese cook here.
The finger-length red chilli adds colour while the smaller chilli padi (bird’s eye chilli) adds heat. You can use either only one or both type of chillis depending on whether you like it hot or not. I use both in my home-made version as I like my cucumber salad both refreshingly cool yet mildly spicy at the same time.
Cut the cucumber to small “logs”. Rub the cucumber pieces with sea salt. Leave it for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the cucumber will ‘sweat’ out its liquid (pic above). Discard the water collected in the dish. Rinse the cucumber to get rid of excess salt. Drain and set aside. This process makes the pickled cucumber more crunchy.
In a food container, add the prepped cucumber together with the seasonings. Close container with a tight-fitting lid, shake well to mix the contents evenly (pic above). Alternatively, you can mix everything in a bowl with a spoon. Chill covered in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.