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Marinated Cucumbers

Marinated Cucumbers: A Refreshing and Tangy Side Dish

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Marinated cucumbers are a simple and refreshing dish that adds a burst of flavor to any meal. This recipe combines crisp cucumber slices with a tangy and savory marinade, creating a perfect balance of flavors. Here’s how to make it step-by-step.

Ingredients

  • 2 large cucumbers, sliced
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

Preparing the Cucumbers

  1. Slice Cucumbers: Wash the cucumbers thoroughly and slice them into thin rounds or half-moons, depending on your preference. Place the sliced cucumbers in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Season with Salt: Sprinkle the sliced cucumbers with salt, using ½ to 1 teaspoon depending on your taste preferences. Toss the cucumbers gently to ensure they are evenly coated with salt. Let them sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the salt to draw out excess moisture.

Making the Marinade

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and honey until well combined.
  2. Add Aromatics: Add the chopped green onions and sliced jalapeño to the marinade mixture. Stir to incorporate the ingredients.

Marinating the Cucumbers

  1. Drain Excess Moisture: After the cucumbers have rested with the salt, drain any excess moisture that has accumulated in the bowl.
  2. Pour Marinade: Pour the prepared marinade over the sliced cucumbers. Toss gently to ensure that the cucumbers are evenly coated with the marinade.
  3. Chill: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the marinated cucumbers for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and develop.

Serving the Dish

  1. Toast Sesame Seeds: While the cucumbers are marinating, toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Garnish: Just before serving, sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the marinated cucumbers as a garnish.
  3. Serve: Serve the marinated cucumbers chilled as a refreshing side dish or accompaniment to your favorite main course.

Cooking Notes and Variations

Cooking Notes:

  • Cucumber Selection: Use firm and crisp cucumbers such as English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers for the best texture.
  • Salt: The salt helps to draw out excess moisture from the cucumbers, resulting in a crisper texture and preventing the dish from becoming too watery.

Variations:

  • Spicy Variation: Increase the amount of jalapeño or add crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick of heat.
  • Garlic Infusion: Add minced garlic to the marinade for a savory garlic flavor.
  • Herbaceous Twist: Mix in chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves for a burst of freshness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I make these cucumbers ahead of time?

A: Yes, you can prepare the cucumbers and marinade ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. Combine them just before serving for optimal freshness.

Q: How long do these cucumbers last in the refrigerator?

A: Marinated cucumbers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. However, they are best enjoyed within the first day for the crispiest texture.

Q: Can I use other types of vinegar?

A: While rice wine vinegar provides a mild and slightly sweet flavor, you can also use other types of vinegar such as white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a different flavor profile.

Q: Can I omit the jalapeño?

A: Yes, if you prefer a milder dish, you can omit the jalapeño altogether or replace it with a milder pepper such as a bell pepper.

Q: What can I serve with marinated cucumbers?

A: Marinated cucumbers pair well with grilled meats, seafood dishes, or as a refreshing side dish alongside Asian-inspired meals.

Marinated cucumbers are a simple yet flavorful dish that adds a refreshing touch to any meal. With a tangy and savory marinade infused with aromatic green onions and spicy jalapeño, these cucumbers are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Whether served as a side dish or a light snack, marinated cucumbers are a delicious way to enjoy the crisp and cool flavors of summer. Try this recipe today and elevate your dining experience with this delightful dish!

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