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Thai Marinated Cucumber Salad

Slender, dark green English cucumbers, also called hothouse or hydroponic cucumbers, are a good choice for this recipe. They have thin peels and fewer and softer seeds than other varieties. To seed a cucumber, split it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and the pulpy matter with a teaspoon or melon baller.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. cucumbers, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 red jalapeño chili or other fresh hot red chili, seeded and julienned
  • 2 Tbs. fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

Cut the cucumber halves crosswise into half-moons 1/4 inch thick. Place in a colander, sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the salt and toss together. Set aside to drain for 1 hour. Pat the cucumbers dry.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, the remaining 1 tsp. salt and the vinegar. Heat until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To assemble the salad, in a large bowl, stir together the salted cucumbers, shallots and chili. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and toss well. Garnish with the cilantro leaves. Marinate the cucumbers for at least 1 hour before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, Edited by Chuck Williams (Free Press, 2008).