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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Japanese cucumber pickles

A crunchy side dish for a hot day

A true blue cucumber pickle is  dry, tossed in an emulsion of sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and garlic.

The secret is to remove the seedy center of the  cucumber. Wrap it in a plastic bag and whack its  entire length until it is all cracked up , with a rolling pin. This way , the seeds would be easily separated from the firm flesh.

And you also end up with  'rustic' bits of Japanese cucumbers.

That was  no-brainer  recipe. However, for reasons beyond me, I missed out this vital step. Instead, I used a spoon to scoop out the seeds, which will never be as clean as removing them  using the rolling pin.

I forgot about rustic sized cucumber bits and used an agar-agar cutter to carve out cucumber chunks instead. What was I thinking ?

So, don’t do what I did, do what I say. Here goes :

Add a dash of chilli oil for color and heat
Makes pickles enough for 5.

Ingredients :

2 Japanese cucumbers, washed and ends cut off.
1 dash of sesame oil
1 dash of olive oil
1 pinch of chilli flakes
5 cloves of crushed garlic
1 dash of chilli oil ( optional )
1 pinch of fine sugar
1 T toasted sesame seeds

Method :

Remove seeds in the of the cucumber by placing the cucumber in a plastic bag . Use a rolling pin to whack along the entire length.

Remove seeds and transfer broken up cucumber bits to a serving bowl.

Combine all the marinade except sesame seeds.

Toss well and chill until ready for use.

Just before serving, sprinkle with a generous amount of toasted sesame seeds.

Goes well with Korean or Sichuan dishes.


  1. Pardon my stupid question but is the dish made up of entirely broken bits or do you cut out some nice pieces and add the crumbly bits as well? Your picture looks like they are uniformly cut which I suppose will look better than if they are in bits and pieces?

  2. This is my second take, which is cut out using a wavy agar agar cutter. My first try, not shown in the pictures, was made up of broken bits ( with the use of a rolling pin ). The nicely cut cucumbers look nice but there is more of the watery center and seeds using the knife and spoon method, compared to an old fashioned rolling pin.