- 1 european cucumber
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground szechuan pepper
- 1 fresh chili sliced thin or ½ teaspoon dried chile flakes
- Cut cucumbers in half crosswise and then into quarters lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
- Next put the cucumbers into a plastic bag (this prevents the splattering juice from getting all over you!)
- Use a mallet or the bottom of a heavy glass to bash the cucumbers.
- Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then into 2 inch pieces crosswise.
- Toss cucumbers with the salt and let sit in a colander for 10 mins. And then set aside in a small bowl.
- While your cucumbers are sitting, combine the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Put the chili (flakes), ginger, and szechuan peppercorns together into a small bowl and set aside next to the stove.
- Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes and then take the pan off the heat. Add the szechuan peppercorn mixture to the hot oil (It will bubble up furiously). Stir for 10 seconds with a spoon until the oil stops bubbling.
- Pour the oil over the cucumbers and toss to combine.
- Next pour the vinegar syrup over the cucumbers. Refrigerate for an hour and then serve. The cucumbers will soften the longer they sit.
*You can find szechuan peppercorns in an Asian market or online at most spice purveyors. I only had whole peppercorns so I used a pepper mill to grind them to a coarse powder. You can also use a mortar and pestle if necessary.
Keywords: szechuan peppercorns, szechuan cucumbers