Sunday, July 23, 2023

Summer of Salads #9: Mark Bittman's Sichuan-Style Cucumber Salad {The Most Delcious Cucumber Salad Ever}


You're gonna think I'm crazy. But that's ok. I'm gonna say it anyway. This Sichuan-Style Cucumber Salad is one of the best things I've ate all year! I'm not kidding.

I had another salad planned this week but my friend gave me two beautiful cucumbers from her garden and since we're making Cool Treats this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs I decided I'd made a cucumber recipe. Because nothing is as cool as a cucumber, right?

This is NOT your typical cucumber salad served all summer long. This cucumber salad will BLOW YOUR MIND! I'm still not sure why on earth this is so dang delicious, but I ate the ENTIRE recipe all by myself. I couldn't stop! Something wonderful happens when you cut those cucumbers and let them sit for 30 minutes with salt and sugar sprinkled over top and then combine them with a soy sauce/sesame oil dressing with garlic and fresh hot chile and cilantro and lime juice and peppercorns! I mean WOW, I absolutely inhaled this. 

I even tried to put half away in the fridge but I kept licking my lips and getting that taste and I found myself going back to the fridge and eating the rest straight outta the bowl!

There is so many wonderful flavors going on here and the cucumber is just so bright and fresh and crunchy and flavorful and delicious. It's just simply addictive! Please get some garden fresh cucumbers and make this! I can't recommend it enough!

Sichuan-Style Cucumber Salad
Adapted from Mark Bittman
Serves 2-4

1 pound cucumbers
about 2 teaspoons slat
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns*
1 small clove garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno or other hot chile
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
chopped cilantro, to your taste
NOTE: I couldn't find Sichuan peppercorns so I just used fresh cracked black pepper!
If the cucumbers are seedy (you'll know as soon as you cut into one), cut them in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. (If they're not seedy, don't!). Chop the cucumbers, I like 1/2" or slightly bigger pieces. Put them in a colander or strainer and sprinkle with the sat and sugar; toss a bit and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

Grind the peppercorns in a spice grinder. (If you have a spice grinder than can handle it, add the garlic and chile, too - I used a mortar and pestle for this). Otherwise, mince the garlic and chile and combine with the peppercorns.

When the cucumbers look darker and slightly shriveled, toss the colander a few times to remove as much liquid as possible that's clinging to them. (You don't have to rinse; if anything, you'll wind up adding salt.) Put the cucumbers in a bowl and add all the other ingredients except cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then garnish with cilantro and serve. Bittman says room temperature is best, but I liked this as cold as can be best!


  1. You have me wanting to make and taste this salad. The first time I made a grilled cucumber salad, I was similarly blown away. You're not crazy!

  2. I love salad and thanks for sharing such good salad ideas Special Needs Tutor Scottsdale

  3. Okay adding this to my MUST MAKE list immediately!


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