A spicy Sichuan peppercorn flavored cucumber salad where you smash the cucumber so it absorbs more of the dressing.
- 1.5 pounds of cucumber, (English seedless or Persian cucumbers work best)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 dried red chilies
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 3 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorn salt
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peanuts, roasted and chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp Chinese ground chilies in oil (optional)
- Smash the cucumber by laying it on a cutting board and trimming off the ends. Take a chef’s knife or a cleaver and smash it on the cucumber sideways so the cucumber cracks. Do this for the entire length of the cucumber, then slice it into 1/2” chunks.
- Salt the garlic by mixing it with 1/2 teaspoon salt and sitting it on a piece of paper towel to drain off excess liquid for 10 minutes.
- In a small skillet, heat the peanut oil and sauté the garlic and chilies, stirring constantly until garlic turns gold, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add sesame oil and cool.
- In a medium bowl, mix the rice wine vinegar with the sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then add the cooled garlic mixture, the cucumbers and the remaining ingredients.
Yield: 6 servings
Feel free to add more Sichuan peppercorn salt to the cucumber salad if you’d like more of the numbing flavor. I added peanuts because I love them.