Earlier this week, I shared a recipe with you for some homemade Vietnamese Summer Rolls. This is the salad I served alongside them. Even if you’re not making Summer Rolls for dinner any time soon, this salad is light and fresh, and perfect for warm summer days.
I start by prepping my cucumbers. It’s a simple salad, but the cucumbers needs some time to hang out with some salt, so that some of their excess moisture pulls away. I peeled and sliced up 1 1/2 lbs. of cucumbers and tossed them with some kosher salt. Then, they hung out in a colander in the sink to drain for about an hour.
While they were draining, I got my dressing together. I combined some rice vinegar, water, sugar, and crushed red pepper in a small saucepan. I brought the mixture to a boil, let it reduce down a bit, and then let it cool completely.
Once the dressing was cool, I added some minced red onion.
Just before it was time to serve up the salad, I laid the cucumber slices out on a few sheets of paper towels, covered them with some more, and let them sit for about five minutes. Then, back into the colander they went for a quick salt rinse off and then I patted them dry with more paper towels.
The cucumbers seem labor intensive, but salting them this way makes them nice and crisp.
I tossed the cucumbers with the cooled dressing, sprinkled them with some peanuts (which you could easily leave out, if you need to) and we were ready to eat!
SWEET & SPICY CUCUMBER SALAD
Adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 1/2 lbs. cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp. minced red onion
- 1 Tbsp. chopped peanuts (optional)
- Place the cucumbers in a colander. Sprinkle the slices with salt, and toss well. Let the cucumbers drain for 1 hour. When finished draining, lay them out over several layers of paper towels. Top with more paper towels and press down gently. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Rinse them off once more, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow to cook until reduced down to about 1/3 cup. (About 10 minutes.) Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- Once it’s cool, add the minced red onion.
- Combine the cucumbers with the cooled dressing, sprinkle with peanuts if you desire, and serve.