One of my favorite sides with a hot summer night’s dinner is a cool, crunchy cucumber salad. I often serve this recipe with our Flanken Cut Short Rib Recipe. The crisp flavor of this salad has just the right amount of acidity and brings a good balance to both tasty dishes.
Cucumber 101: There are actually three different classes of cucumbers; slicing, burpless and pickling.
Slicing cucumbers are thick, have dark green skin and are covered with an edible wax gives them their shine.
A true burpless variety is the Persian Cucumber which have few seeds.
The last variety is a Pickling or Kirby Cucumber. These cucumbers are good to eat but are used for pickling because they are harder and hold up to the brine and canning process.
The English cucumber fits under both the slicing and burpless category. We typically see them at the grocery wrapped in plastic to protect the thin skin and usually do not have the wax on them.
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The ingredients you will need to make this tasty salad are cucumbers, vinegar, sugar, and red chili pepper flakes.
To make the dressing mix the sugar and water together until the sugar is dissolved over medium heat.
Once sugar is dissolved add the vinegar and cook for three to five minutes. Then remove it from the stove and set it aside to cool.
I prefer using English cucumbers, but when those are not available, I use standard ones. Before using the cucumbers, I soak them for 2 minutes in one-part vinegar and one- part water. Scrub them with a soft vegetable brush and rinse thoroughly. The skin and the seeds of the standard cucumber are bitter, so I peel most of the skin off and remove the seeds.
You could of course slice them, but for a more fun presentation I like to use my spiral veggie cutter to give it a more Asian flair. Once the cucumbers are cut, place them in a medium size bowl and pour the dressing over the top. Sprinkle in the red chili pepper and mix well. Enjoy.
- 3 cucumbers preferably English Cucumbers
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Dissolve the sugar in water over medium heat and then add the vinegar. Cook for three to five minutes, remove from heat, and allow to cool.
- Wash and cut the cucumbers then place them into a medium sized bowl.
- Pour the cooled vinegar dressing over the cucumbers and add the red chili flakes.
- Mix and enjoy.