Today I’m going to be making, “Cucumber snake.”
It’s a rainy season in Japan. We eat a cucumber to blow the humid away.
It’s a Japanese traditional side dish, serve with the main course. The texture is so unique and so refreshing. After enjoying snake cucumber as it is, let me introduce 2 more types of cucumber dish.
〈ingredients〉for Cucumber Snake
One tablespoon salt
1. Before we start, dissolve salt in water. Set aside.
Place a chopstick on your cutting board. Place washed cucumber besides the chopstick. Start cutting at an angle until the tip of the knife touches the chopsticks, 2mm intervals. Make sure do not cut all the way through. The chopsticks prevent from cutting all way through.
This knife is from our local artisan, “Kiku-Ichi.” You can find it at your kitchenware shop.
When you finish cutting, flip it over. Then, start cutting again.
2. Soak in salt water. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the sushi vinegar. You may already know my sushi vinegar recipe because I have introduced several times. It’s a very useful and essential seasoning. If you have it in a fridge, you can make Japanese style salad in any minutes.
〈ingredients〉for sushi vinegar
Three tablespoons sugar
1 cup of rice vinegar
One teaspoon salt
One piece of Kombu kelp
or 1/2 teaspoon Kombu tea
Shake all the ingredients together except kombu kelp.
Add in kombu kelp. Keep in the fridge, and it will last a couple of months.
4. After 30 mins, the cucumber will look like this. It became flexible and moved like a snake.
5. Let’s assemble the first dish.
We will make “Vinegared Octopus and cucumber.”
This dish is our summer favorite.
This is a boiled octopus from our grocery store nearby. Pour boiling water over to clean it. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry and cut into bite-size pieces, with a shallow cut on the surface to make it easy to chew. Slice the head part into one-third of an inch strip.
Rince snake cucumber quickly under running water. Pat dry and cut into 2 inches long.
Put your octopus, cucumber and re-hydrated wakame seaweed into a bowl. Sprinkle sushi vinegar to your liking, and toss to coat.
6. Second, Chinese style cucumber.
Cut your snake cucumber into 2 inches long.
Mince your garlic and ginger.
Heat your frying pan on medium, add a teaspoon vegetable oil. Add in minced garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant.
Add in a tablespoon of sushi vinegar and regular soy sauce.
Bring it to a boil and pour over cucumber. Toss to coat. Add in toasted sesame, and garnish with shredded chili. There you have 3 kinds of cucumber dish!
First, enjoy the texture and the taste of cucumber itself. It’s a taste of summer.
“Vinegar Octopus cucumber” is our typical summer dish to revitalize your body. Chewy octopus, crunchy cucumber and slippery texture of wakame seaweed are a perfect much!
“Chinese style” is so flavorful! It’s a good side dish for ramen noodles and fried rice. Moreover, it’s vegan!
Which one would you like to try? Let me know!