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"Smacked" Cucumbers

Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:46 pm

This is a simple and tasty dish from Hunan.

1 cucumber, peeled or not
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
several pinches sugar
1 ts Chinese hot oil (can sub in red chili flakes, or better yet, red chili flakes toasted in smoking oil)
1 ts dark sesame oil (regular sesame oil works)
2 TB rice vinegar (not the "seasoned" kind, but white or cider vinegar probably works)

Take the cucumber and whack it rather violently with the flat of a knife or a cutting board or something heavy. Repeat. You've smacked it enough when the seeds start to spew out everywhere. The unpeeled cuke takes more whacking; I usually peel. Then cut the cuke into chunks (the smacking gives you an uneven surface for more adhesion to the liquids). Put cuke bits into a colander, salt them, and then put the colander over a bowl. Put another bowl on top of the cukes to press out the liquid. Put the other ingredients into the top bowl. Wait a half hour. Stir the cuke bits into the top bowl of sauce. Adjust the salt with either more salt or with soy, if needed and as you like. Eat.
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