Bowl Sichuan Cucumber Salad
(click to enlarge)

Cucumber Salad, Sichuan
China - Sichuan
  -   Qiang Huang Gua
1-1/2 #  
10 hrs  

This appetizer salad is an attractive departure from the usual vinegared cucumbers. Despite the name "Sichuan" and the number of chilis, it is actually not at all hot, unless you make it so deliberately. It can be made a day ahead.


Cucumbers (1)
Chilis, dried (2)
Sichuan Peppercorns (3)
Sesame Oil, dark
Prep   -   (35 min - 10 min work)
  1. Trim ends from CUCUMBERS, then cut crosswise into halves. Slice the halves lengthwise in half, then the quarters lengthwise into 3 sticks each. Tumble with Salt and let stand for at least 30 minutes, tumbling now and then.
  2. Drain Cucumbers (don't rinse) and shake dry. I use a salad spinner for this.
  3. Break CHILIS in half and dump out as many seeds as will go. Mix with Sichuan Peppercorns.
  4. In a wok of sauté pan, heat Oil. Stir in Chili mix for just until the Chilis start to darken, then Stir in the Cucumbers. Fry stirring briefly, no more than 1 minute. Remove from the oil to a mixing bowl.
  5. Stir in Sesame Oil. Serve cool, but not chilled.
  1. Cucumber: If at all possible use a thin cucumber like Persian or Japanese that don't have to be peeled and seeded. The instructions above presume Persians 6-1/2 inches long, so adjust for other size cucumbers. If all you have is the standard green blimps, you will have to peel and seed them, then weigh them. For details see our Cucumbers page.
  2. Chilis, Dried Red:   The standard Japones are fine for this recipe. If you want hotter, use dried red Thai chilis. For details see our Chilis page.
  3. Sichuan Peppercorns   Fruits of a prickly ash tree, now again legal in the US so long as they are lightly toasted. These are nothing at all like black pepper. For details see our Sichuan Pepper page.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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