When we planted a cucumber plant at the end of last year we weren’t sure whether it was a good decision. Earlier in the year we tried growing broccoli and cauliflower but all the plants went to seed without producing any edible vegetables. Naturally we began to wonder whether we were terrible at gardening but because we’d had some beginners luck growing some outrageously good tomatoes the year before, we quietly hoped it wasn’t true.
Our cucumber plant didn’t do much for the first couple of months. But by Christmas it had produced 3 good sized cucumbers so we were feeling quietly confidant. We went on holiday and when we returned a week later we found 10 big cucumbers waiting for us!
If you follow Swoon Food on Instagram or facebook you might have a seen a picture of Nick attempting to hold them all. In that post I also asked you guys for recipe suggestions and got so many great ideas! The most popular suggestion by far was pickles (so I now have a couple of jars of cucumbers pickling away in our fridge), but the idea of a cucumber strip salad sounded the most intriguing.
So without further ado, I give you Vietnamese Cucumber Salad! I love this salad because it reminds me of our trip to Vietnam and all the beautiful flavours we experienced there. Coriander, chilli, ginger, lemon/lime and sesame all come together to create a vibrant, fresh salad that goes with just about anything. It’s very quick and easy to make and also very adaptable, so if you can’t find snow peas simply swap them with something else green and crunchy.
If you make this Vietnamese cucumber salad I’d love to hear what you think!
Leave a message in the comments below, and if you share any of your creations on social media be sure to tag me
@swoon.food or #swoonfood so I can come and admire them.
Vietnamese Cucumber Chilli Salad
Prep time: 30 minutes
1 large cucumber (or 2 medium)
4 pink radishes
1 large handful snow peas
5cm knob fresh ginger
1 large handful fresh coriander
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp rice syrup
1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
pink Himalayan salt to taste
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
Wash the cucumber, cut off the ends and use a vegetable peeler to peel them into strips. Place the cucumber into a mixing bowl. Wash and slice the radish into rounds, add to the bowl. Wash and slice the snow peas into strips lengthwise. You’ll get about 3 strips per pea and don’t worry if some of the peas fall out, just add them to the bowl. Next, wash the ginger and use a teaspoon to scrape the brown skin off. Slice the ginger into thin slices then again into thin strips and add to the bowl. Wash the coriander, pick the leaves off and add to the bowl. Toss all the ingredients together until well mixed.
To make the dressing place the rice wine vinegar and rice syrup into a small bowl or cup and stir until the syrup dissolves. Add the lemon/lime juice, chilli flakes and salt. Mix to combine.
Place the cucumber salad ingredients onto a serving plate(s), drizzle with the dressing and garnish with the black sesame seeds. Note: if you’re not serving the salad straight away set the dressing aside and drizzle it over just before serving to avoid the salad going soggy.
Store any leftover salad in a sealed container in the fridge, ideally with the dressing separate to the salad to avoid a soggy salad.