Sunday, June 02, 2013

Cucumbers with Sesame Oil-Soy Dressing 凉拌黄瓜

Winter is not the season to eat too much cucumber especially from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As it goes - "as cool as a cucumber" (indeed, cucumber is considered "cooling" food by TCM), we do not want our body to be subjected to more "cold elements" in the winter season. Attuned with Chinese food therapy, fried and "heaty" food should also be avoided as much as possible during summer.  

Do you avoid consuming too much of a certain food in each season especially in summer (the hot!) or winter (the cold...)?

In addition, I do not use cucumber that often in my kitchen (if you notice) due to my tendency to consume nutrient-dense food. To me, cucumber is not nutrient-dense as it is mainly (~95%) moisture (water).


Summer IS the season for cooling cucumbers. Plus who could resist the organic cucumber when they go on-sale at 88 cents each.

To neutralize the "cool" (yin) of the cucumber, I am going to add warm (yang) elements to it. Red chili flakes and raw garlic should do the trick. This Chinese-style cucumber salad is dressed in sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. 

Organic Cucumber in Sesame - Soy Dressing 凉拌黄瓜
Cut the cucumber to finger-length (and thickness), remove the seeds, add salt and let it sweat for 10 mins (remove moisture from cucumber and maintain the crunch). Add 1 garlic - finely minced and pinch of red chili pepper flakes to the cucumber. Prepare the dressing by mixing: 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1-2 tsp sesame oil. Drizzle the dressing over the garlic-chili cucumber and mix well.

To add more "warm" elements to this cold appetizer, it can be enjoyed as a side dish with warm rice porridge/congee.

Sharing this with Souper Sunday and Hearth and Soul.

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