Japanese Cucumber Salad


Japanese Cucumber Salad

I love the cucumber salads at sushi restaurants, and a while back, made a copycat version at home. After recently buying an English cucumber for another recipe (which I can’t even remember now), I thought about making this super simple and yummy side dish again tonight. And when I say simple, I mean one of the easiest dishes you can make. If you like cucumbers, and enjoy vinegar flavor, you will love this refreshing salad.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium cucumbers, or 1 large English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted *

Directions

  1. Rinse cucumber(s) and pat dry. (I like to keep the skin on, but you can take it off, if you’d like.)
  2. Slice thinly using a food processor or sharp knife.
  3. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture.
  4. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve.
  5. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine.
  6. Serve immediately.

* To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

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Vegetable Tempura (with Dipping Sauce)


Veggie Tempura

Here’s a simple recipe for veggie tempura that I made last week. As you should be able to tell by the picture, some of the vegetables have more of a coating due to dredging them through flour first, then the tempura batter. You can eliminate the flour if you like, but personally, I preferred the ones with the flour as they were crispier.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegetables of your choice (I used onions, kale, carrots and pickled jalapeños)
  • Flour
  • Tempura Batter, prepared according to box directions

Directions

  1. Heat about 2-3 inches of oil to 375°F in electric fryer or in a large, deep heavy pan on stove top.
  2. Place approximately 1 cup of flour into a bowl.
  3. Roll vegetables in flour and shake off excess.
  4. Dip vegetables into tempura batter and carefully place in oil to fry.
  5. Remove from oil when golden brown and place on paper towels to drain.
  6. Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce (Tentsuyu)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dashi soup stock*
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger

* If you can’t find dash, you can use low-sodium beef broth. 

Directions

  1. Put dashi (or beef broth), mirin, soy sauce, and sugar in a sauce pan and mix well.
  2. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Stop the heat, add the ginger and let it cool.
  3. Serve with your favorite tempura.

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