Even though it’s September it still feels like summer out there. Here’s an easy Asian-style cucumber salad, inspired by similar cucumber salads I’ve had at Biang! and Spicy & Tasty.
I used kirby cucumbers, but any kind would work. Cut them into large-ish chunks and put them into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 7 cloves of raw garlic, a drop of sesame oil, a dash of soy sauce, some chili flakes or chili oil, a sprinkle of salt, and at least a half of a cup of rice wine vinegar. Blend it all until smooth — because of the raw garlic, the mixture will emulsify. After blending taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed. If it’s not salty enough, add some more salt. If it’s too salty, add more vinegar. When it’s just right, pour the blend over the cucumbers. Now the hard part — cover with plastic wrap and put the bowl in the fridge for at least half an hour. Then feel free to enjoy. If you’re going to keep leftovers, put the cucumbers into an airtight container. Bonus: there will probably be liquid left at the bottom of the bowl after you eat all of the cucumbers. This dressing is a great ingredient to use; for example, fry up some eggplant until golden brown and then pour some of this liquid into the pan. Th eggplant will soak it up like a sponge, giving it an acidic, spicy, salty kick.