2010年7月17日土曜日

cooking with cucumbers

By special request cucumber recipes!

Actually I am not really the right person to ask for recipes as I tend to just wing it a lot. But these are some ways of eating cucumbers (and more cucumbers and more cucumbers) that we like. Keep in mind that we have masses of cucmbers. Would I eat some of these dishes if I only had one cucumber in the house? No. Are they nice for variety on day 47 of the cucumber season? Yup.

Sticks with sauce:
sticks with miso is the dish de rigueur around here. Pretty simple dish- cut cucumber, put a lump of miso on a plate and you're done. Very salty dish.
The kiddy version is miso-mayonnaise. Fabulous- now you get your salt with a great whack of fat on the side.
I like chutney or salsa as a dip as well as curried plain yoghurt. A Tb of curry powder in plain yoghurt. You can fry the curry powder first if you don't want the raw spice flavour.

tataki- this one is fun to make. You take a poor unsuspecting cucumber and bash it until it's broken all over. Then you chop it up. Then you add the flavouring: pickled plum flesh, crushed garlic and sesame oil, very finely sliced negi, sesame oil and sesame seeds, soy sauce and sesame oil, soy sauce chilli oil and vinegar etc etc

cucumber kimchi- soooo good. Take 10 cucumbers, chop roughly and drain in a sieve with about a Tb of salt. (I hate salting stuff but water is the enemy of pickles and I have learnt the hard way sometimes you need to suck it up and salt stuff) Drain for a couple of hours or overnight if you're super organised. Without rinsing the cucumber transfer it into a big bowl and add One negi (white bit finely choped green bit chopped bigger) three cloves of crushed garlic, a Tb of vinegar, 2 Tb of korean chilli powder (weird stuff it's actually micro-flakes, my Korean student swears up and down it's the absolute only chilli product that will make kimchi. I think you could probably substitute but they have it at my little local supermarket so I just use the recommended stuff) mix it all together (with a spoon! Or put a bag over your hand. Or wear gloves. Unless you have no plan to rub your eyes or pee for a few days after making it. You have been warned!) Leave at room temperature for two days- the longer you ferment the more fizzy/ sour flavour and the milder and more rounded the chilli flavour. This time of year I don't like leaving it at room temperature after that so I fill ziplock bags with it and freeze it. Yummo!

Mustard salt pickles: 1 kilo cucumber, 30 grams salt, 100 grams sugar, 50 grams mustard. Mix all together and leave for 2 days to pickle. Then store in fridge or freezer. You can reduce the sugar or mustard but the minimum amount of salt for salt pickling is 3% any less and you will just waste your time and end up throwing out a whole lot of revolting slimy smelly cucumbers. Ask me how I know.... You can use that yukari dried red shiso instead of mustard for shiso pickles, or add some soy sauce instead for soy pickles. Basically you need 3% salt and anything else is up to you. These recipes work much better with small/ underdeveloped cucumbers as the water content increases when the seeds get bigger. And water is the enemy!

Vinegar pickles: A whack of cucumbers thinly sliced, half that of onions thinly sliced, vinegar and sugar at the ratio of 1 cup of vinegar to 1 teaspoon sugar, aromatics- whole pepper corns, laurel, dried chilli, dill whatever your pleasure!

Other than that I love tsatsiki dip but I'm the only one here who does (raw garlic, mint, lemon juice, drained yoghurt and grated drained cucumber- yummo what's not to like??) so I haven't made any recently. I am experimenting with cold noodle sauce (hiyashi jiru) with tomato juice, cucumber, okra, chilli and negi but haven't quite cracked a good combination yet.

Anyway, that is my public service to those inundated with cucumbers for today. And feel free to reciprocate- we could always do with a new way to eat them!


1 件のコメント:

Crafty Tokyo Mama さんのコメント...

My favorite way to eat cukes is sliced thin, salted, let sit for about 30 minutes, squeeze out the water, then mix with plain yogurt or sour cream. Sprinkle on a bit of paprika for color. This is an old Hungarian dish.

Also, just plain old salt and pepper never fails and is the fastest thing around. I served cukes this way to a Japanese friend who was amazed that all I did was sprinkle with salt and pepper yet they tasted to good! (I don't think she knew how to cook though... LOL.)