This dish, Sweet and Sour Cucumber is always served in Chinese restaurants as an appetizer, or a side dish, very refreshing and healthy.
When you eat cucumbers raw, sometimes you might taste bitterness in the skin.
The bitterness seems to vary from type to type of cucumbers, with different degree of bitterness from time to time. I learned a small trick from my mother-in-law to reduce or remove the unpleasant bitterness. The secret trick is pretty simple, just cut out both ends and use them to rub the cucumber. This method helps remove the white jelly-like substance from the skin. The more you rub, the more white substance you get, the better the cucumber tastes.
This time I tried the Taiwanese cucumber (小黃瓜 Xiao Huanggua). The flesh is firmer with less water and seeds inside. It’s the best kind of cucumber to make this dish. If you can’t find any Taiwanese cucumbers, try Lebanese cucumbers. It’s also a good choice.
Sweet and Sour Cucumber (Printable recipe)
- 2 cucumbers, about 360 gm
- 1 cup white rice vinegar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Rinse cucumbers. Cut out both ends about 1cm. Use the two ends to rub the cucumber as the picture shown. Wipe clean. Cut the cucumber lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds, then cut into 3.5cmx0.5cm strips.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with the cucumber for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly for 2 to 3 times. The last time, use cooled boiled water to rinse. Drain well and wipe dry with kitchen papers. Chill in fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add vinegar and sugar in a stainless steel saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
- Pour the vinegar and sugar mixture in a glass container, like Pyrex. Remove the cucumber from fridge and transfer into the mixture, mix well. Chill in fridge for about 1 to 2 hours, covered. Served cold.
- Basically, the ratio of the vinegar and sugar used for making this dish is 1:1. Yet you can adjust the amount of vinegar or sugar to suit your personal taste.
- You might like to add sliced red chilli to add a kick when served.