Stir-fried cucumber

This simple stir-fried cucumber recipe by Ken Hom makes a great side dish as part of a Chinese feast. The fiery chilli oil is tempered by the cooling cucumber making it a beautifully balanced dish.

First published in 2019

This is a simple stir-fried cucumber dish inspired from my trips to western China. Once the ingredients are assembled, it is very quick to cook and the chilli oil and ginger contrast well with the cool, crisp cucumber. Once you get into the habit of cooking cucumbers, you will be delighted by their transformation into a greater tasting vegetable.





Peel the cucumbers, slice them in half lengthways then use a teaspoon to remove the seeds. Cut the cucumbers into 2cm slices, then sprinkle them with the salt and mix well
Put the mixture into a colander and let it sit for 20 minutes to drain. This rids the cucumber of any excess liquid. When the cucumber slices have drained, rinse them in water and then blot them dry with kitchen paper
Heat a wok or large frying-pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the ginger and spring onions and stir-fry for about 30 seconds
Add the cucumbers, black bean garlic sauce, chilli oil, salt, pepper and sugar and stir for another 30 seconds until they are well coated with the spices and flavourings
Add the water and continue to stir-fry over a high heat for 3–4 minutes until most of the water has evaporated and the cucumbers are cooked. At this point, add the sesame oil and garnish with coriander. Serve immediately
First published in 2019

Beloved all over the world as the gentle, smiling face of Chinese cookery, Ken Hom has graced our screens for decades and helped demystify one of the world's oldest and most complex food cultures

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