Snacks

Spicy Asian Cucumbers

Hi guys! It’s been a while! Like…a long time. So much has changed since the last time I wrote. Some good and some not. Good news? I should have more time to devote to new recipes and all my wonderful readers who have stuck with me even though I’ve been slow in posting new things. Bad news? I was laid off of my current job. Not to worry though. I found a new job really quickly that gives me lots of time to experiment in the kitchen.

Speaking of slow, one of the cultures I got a slow start on was Japanese cuisine. Well, all Asian cuisine really. But I am very quickly realizing what I’ve been missing all this time and trying really hard to catch up with the rest of the world. There is a Japanese restaurant here that serves a mix of American-Japanese and authentic Japanese dishes. I usually just go there when I want a fix of my favorite dishes since I am still experimenting with cooking Asian cuisine in my own kitchen. Unfortunately, the last time we went it took them almost an hour to turn out one sushi roll. Absolutely ridiculous. But the one thing I had a hard time resisting was my craving for their spicy cucumbers. Deliciously salty and a little nutty with the cool freshness of cucumber, these cucumbers are enough to make me drool, especially when you want just a little something to hold you over until lunch or dinner. For the life of me I could not figure out what the sauce was they served on the cucumbers. Then one day in one of the local grocery stores I found it. A tiny little bottle of red oil, Hot Sesame Oil to be exact.

With only four ingredients, this is a quick recipe so makes a great snack. It also means I no longer have to drive an hour to get my fix. Ready?

For this quick fix of salty, cucumber-y goodness you need half a cucumber, 1.5 teaspoons hot sesame oil, 1/2 teaspoon regular sesame oil, and 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds.

Spicy Cucumber Ingredients

Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry pot or pan.

Untested Sesame Seeds

Toast until you smell a slightly nutty scent.

Toasted Sesame Seeds

Wash and slice or cube half the cucumber. For this particular cucumber, I peeled small strips from each side and sliced them on a mandolin slicer. In a small bowl, combine the hot sesame oil and regular sesame oil until mixed well. Since the spicy oil is so hot, I use the regular oil to cut the spice and give the oil a nuttier flavor. If you like the spicy oil alone, feel free to leave out the regular sesame oil.

Drizzle the oil mix over the cucumber slices.

Cucumbers and Oil

Top with the toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!

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This is usually topped with shredded dried chile peppers. Even in the restaurant, that is a little too spicy for me, but feel free to add a pinch or two if you’d like 🙂

Here’s the printable. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Spicy Asian Cucumbers

Total Time: 15 minutes

Spicy Asian Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Japanese or cucumber of your choice
  • 1 1/2 tsp hot sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Wash and cube/slice the cucumber into desired pieces.
  2. In a small bowl or shot glass, combine the hot sesame oil and regular sesame oil. Mix well.
  3. In a dry pan over medium heat, lightly toast the sesame seeds until lightly browned and the seeds give off a slightly nutty aroma.
  4. Drizzle the oil mixture over the cucumbers and top with toasted sesame seeds.
  5. If desired, or if serving to guests, top with dried chile threads as garnish.
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