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Cool as a cucumber

Sometimes I enjoy cold food in even colder weather. I’d rather have a glass of ice water after coming in from the cold than a mug of hot cocoa. Then again, I’ve been known to describe sub-zero weather merely as “brisk”.

Last week I made a refreshing Asian-style cucumber salad. It’s similar to what you might get at a Thai restaurant except less sweet and less sticky.

Asian-style Cucumber Salad

1 English cucumber, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (peel or leave skin on, depending on your preference)
splash of rice vinegar
half a handful of white sugar

Combine thoroughly; refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold. Serve.

My method for this salad has always been “Asian-style”, i.e., no measuring. It’s really to your own taste, but my estimate would be 2-3 tablespoons of rice vinegar and 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. “Half a handful” may be misleading; if your hands are as big as my husband’s, it might end up tasting like Texas sheet cake frosting.

I use a Taiwanese rice vinegar called Kong Yen which I find sweeter and less acidic than ones available at non-Asian grocery stores, but any type of rice vinegar will work.

Stay cool! I mean, warm!


  1. Budget Babe wrote:

    That’s it?! Never knew one of my favorite dressings was that simple.

    I make a Polish version of cucumber salad called “Miseria” with a dressing of sour cream, white wine/cider/rice vinegar (take your pick), salt and pepper. Yummm

    Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  2. Yup! If the vinegar is too acidic, you can add a tiny bit of water.

    The kind at Thai restaurants may use prepackaged dressing, which usually contains corn syrup (hence the sticky sweetness) and sometimes hot pepper flakes.

    Mmmm! My second favorite type of cucumber salad is the kind with sour cream. I’ll have to try your recipe :)

    Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Permalink
  3. Cat wrote:

    *LOL* Just like my grandmother’s cucumber salad, except she used cider vinegar, a bit less sugar, and included a little salt & black pepper. She sometimes added sweet onion. (If keeping a while, iced water is added to preserve the cucumber.)

    I swear, sometimes I think our ancestral cuisines are nearly identical. :)

    Friday, January 25, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Permalink
  4. Joan wrote:

    hahha! yum! @@@@@@

    i love your comment about half a handful and the texas sheet cake :D

    Monday, January 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

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