This is a most delightful, refreshing side dish. In Japan, a cucumber-marinated salad is called Cucumber Sunomono — this is my version.
I think it's best with the chili paste, but when I make it for my kids I leave that out (and put it on mine later). The sweet-spicy combination is wonderful. My kids love it because it's sweet, and I love that they're eating cucumbers! Though these are great the day they're made, they only get better as they marinate. And here's a great tip: save any leftover marinade you have and use it as a salad dressing.
- 1 Hot House cucumber
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek Chili paste if desired*
Serves 4 as a side dish
Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, oils, sugar and salt. Cook over low-medium heat only until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour into a medium glass bowl. Add the cucumber slices (and chili paste if desired). Let the cucumber marinate for at least an hour before serving. This will keep at least a couple weeks in the refrigerator.
*Sambal Oelek Chili paste can be purchased at most large supermarkets and all Asian markets.