Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cheery, And Violent-- A Recipe for Cucumber

Japanese cucumbers are rather smaller than the ones I always see in the US, but no matter.  I think this can be made with either kind, though you may need a little more oomph and/or a heavier rolling pin.  Shovel would work fine, too.

A shovel for... what??

"Cheery... and violent"  (why do I hear that in Terry Jones' voice in my head?  Was it in a Python sketch that I can't quite remember?)
...For making a very quick sort-of pickle out of cucumbers without any tedious marinating, nor canning.  This is a marvelous recipe for anyone who's had a bad day at work, a fight with an SO, or who is suffering from PMS. 

You see, to 'soften' up the kyuuri (cucumber) just a little, yet retain crunch (which is, after all, the defining characteristic of a 'pickle'), grab your rolling pin and beat that cucumber to within an inch of its life. 

Then break it apart into bite-sized pieces with your hands, into any serving dish you like, and pour the dressing over.  Toss.  *Excellent* replacement for potato chips. 

The sauce (assuming you can't get it as-is, in that bottle up in the top photo) is basically:
1) sesame oil
2) salt (*little*)
3) garlic
4) *little* sugar
5) toban jan (that really hot, red paste that you use to make Mabo Dofu)
6) tsp or so of soy sauce
7) red karashi peppers (the small, very hot ones)

Sauce is somewhat spicy, but my kids *love* this (those in the photo lasted about 3 minutes this evening--I got one bite:-((... "Mama!  Oishiiii!" 

Gosh, I love to see my kids snarfing down vegetables like candy:-)


  1. That looks really good, but i'm betting it's too spicy for me. I can't tolerate any heat, really.

  2. Is it really hot? Dennis would like it. Can I make it a *little* hot? How? Also, do you think that I can find ingredients at Scotts or do I need to go to an Asian grocery in Fort Wayne. Next week when school is out, I will start looking. I love cucumbers. We planted four in the garden.

    I plan to start my blog on Friday. I will let you know.

  3. Hi Sarah! It's somewhat spicy--more like peppery, really. I mostly taste the sesame oil, salty, garlic, and 'peppery'. I was surprised, actually, that my kids like it as much as they do.

    Cary-- yay! Looking forward to a new blog! For the ingredients, I would think you'd need to go to an Asian market--I doubt Scotts would have tobanjan, for example. By all means, play around with the ingredients to suit yourself--hotter, or, notter:-))

  4. Ha! I love violent cooking.

    Looks delicious, but I too can't really handle spices.

  5. I would really have enjoyed beating up an inanimate object today (it's one of them days where I'm just "meh") but alas, I have no cucumbers. Pickled ones, but I can't really pickle pickles, can I?

    But I love heat. *-* So much. I can eat chili as it is just to feel it sizzle. I may do that today. It's one of them days where I need some spice in my life!!!

    (Love your recipes by the way!!!)

  6. Hi Alice! Yah--me too:-)) As an interesting side note, I appear to have gravitated to this recipe this week due to PMS (*ahem*)...

    Josephine-- thanks! Hope you can try them all out! Most of them are pretty simple (because I'm a lazy cook *looks at ceiling...whistles tunelessly*). Sometimes I like hot stuff burning up my mouth, too!