This salad is obligatory for me whenever I cook Chinese food. Salty, spicy, garlicky, and umami taste combined with fresh cucumber is just pure enjoyment. I tried this salad (which by the way has the longest name for a salad: Liang ban hua gua) on my first day visiting China, and I had it almost every day on that trip. I remember sitting in this Crayfish restaurant, eating spicy and sticky dishes with my hands and a bib. In between the shellfish and noodles, we would eat the cucumber and I remember how it these breaks of freshness made the experience go from great to freaking fantastic! Of course, I had to experiment with is myself as soon as I got home.
It is so simple to make, and it really adds some texture and freshness to a heavier meal. Normally, a cold salad would not be a thing I would introduce on Chinese night, but I promise you this will make the experience so much better. Originally, the cucumbers are smashed a bit with a meat cleaver, yet I prefer to keep the crunch. It goes amazing with stir fry, noodles, and seafood.
TIP: Makes a great appetizer as well. Serve it on the side of fried spring rolls and you are ready to impress!
Chinese Cucumber Salad Recipe
Total time 10 minutes, Serves 4
|1 large cucumber or 4 small
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili flakes