Author Notes: My business colleague came home from a recent trip to China, and told me the only fresh vegetables she had were cucumbers prepared in a vinaigrette that she guessed had rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and some spicy heat. I was intrigued by her recipe because i thought that raw fennel would be an interesting addition to the dish. This salad is refreshing as a side, and is easily portable. —Bevi
Food52 Review: This was awesome. Super easy and very tasty. I thought fennel and sesame might be a bit weird, but I’m into it now. I didn’t do anything different and it would totally be fine with an English cuke if you didn’t want to find the Persians. The weight of the fennel was 220g and the total cukes was 330g. —Stephanie Bourgeois
Prep time: 1 hrs
Cook time: 5 min
For the salad
small Persian cucumbers, very thinly sliced by hand or with a mandolin
teaspoon sea salt
fennel bulb, quartered, and then sliced very thinly with a mandolin
tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped
For the vinaigrette
teaspoons toasted sesame oil
teaspoon red pepper flakes
tablespoons rice vinegar
- Place the sliced cucumbers in a sieve and salt them. Allow them to sit and drain for an hour. Pat dry.
- Heat the sesame oil in a small pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the red pepper flakes. Stir for about a minute, and remove from the heat.
- Stir together the rice vinegar and the sugar, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sesame oil. Blend thoroughly
- Place the cucumbers and fennel in a bowl. Add the vinaigrette and stir well. Place in the refrigerator and chill, stirring often.
- Serve as a side and enjoy.
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Photo by Bobbi Lin
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