Hot and Sour Cucumbers

I love cucumber salads.  They are a perfect accompaniment to hot and spicy foods (like Thai curries).  I like this particular recipe a lot.  By salting the cucumbers in the beginning, the excess moisture is removed. I also like the addition of the fish sauce.  It gives it that umami element.  Chill this salad a bit before serving.  It’s very good cold.  This recipe is easily doubled.

Hot and Sour Cucumbers

2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/8 cup fish sauce
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 large red chili, finely sliced on the diagonal
Black pepper and salt, to taste

Cut cucumbers in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds using a spoon. Slice on the diagonal into one inch pieces.  Combine in a bowl with sugar and salt, mix well and leave to stand for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan and stir over heat until sugardissolves. Simmer, uncovered  for about 8 minutes, or until reduced by one-third and  slightly syrupy. Set aside to cool.

Drain away any excess liquid from cucumbers. Add cooled vinegar syrup and remaining ingredients to
pickled cucumbers.  Season with black pepper and salt and serve.

Note: This dish  is best served the day it’s made

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