(Serve 2, as a side dish to share)
- 2 medium-size cucumbers, cut lengthwise thinly (I use a mandolin)
- 2 tsp of sesame oil
- 1 tsp of soy sauce (for a gluten free option, use a gluten free soy sauce)
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 1 fresh chili, seeds removed, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted, to garnish
- Rub cucumber slices with salt, leave it aside for 15 minutes; then rinse under water thoroughly; squeeze out any excess liquid, if any.
- In a mixing bowl, mix cucumber with sesame oil;
- Mix soy sauce, sugar and chopped chili in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved
- Add the sauce to cucumber, mix well
- garnish with sesame seeds and a little sliced chili.
Guangzhou Wine House 广州酒家
As a little child growing up in southern China in the early 70s, our family was considered very fortunate to have oversea relatives and friends. Every few years some of them visited us, bringing with them clothes, food, gifts and money for a feast in a ‘wine house’ restaurant’. They were beautiful people – well dressed, smelt gorgeous and they were always very kind.
One year I was given this red jumper with a print of happy reindeers at the front. It was so jolly and bright. I wore it for many years during late autumns, winters and early spring. When it was too short for me, I passed it to my sister and it was well-used many years after that.
On many occasions, our oversea visitors took us to the Guangzhou Wine House Restaurant. It was one of the most celebrated restaurants in the city and only 4 blocks away from our house. Inside the restaurant, there was a large and plain dining room downstairs for the local commoners. The dining area upstairs was grand like a palace to me. There were carved wooden partitions, classic rosewood furniture and traditional paintings on the walls. How I enjoyed the aroma of food, tea and wine lingering through the tastefully decorated dining rooms. My favorite dishes were the little side dishes served at arrival – cucumber salad, roasted peanuts and salted vegetables. These little dishes made me so hungry and so looking forward to the special feast.
Many years later in Australia I spoke with one of our visitors about his impression of China in the 70s – ‘awful,’ he said,’ but that restaurant, the food was wonderful.’
I hope you enjoy my version of a cucumber salad with a little modern twist.