Bowl of Spicy Pickled Cucumbers
(click to enlarge)

Spicy Pickled Cucumbers
China - South Central
  -   Suanla Huanggua
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
1-3/4 #  
**
10 hrs  
Yes

An interesting quick pickle with a unique blend of flavors, and easy to make. Serve as an appetizer. For best texture, It should be eaten within two days.



1-1/2
1
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2
2
2
2
1/2
3
1
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2
2
2
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#
T
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cl
T
T
T
in
T
T
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T
T
t
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Cucumbers (1)
Salt
-- Seasonings
Garlic
Water
Soy Sauce
Sichuan Pepper (2)
Ginger Root
Oil
Sugar
-- Dressing
Black Vinegar (3)  
Chili Paste (4)
Sesame Oil, dark
---------------
Prep   -   (35 min - 10 min work)
  1. Trim ends from CUCUMBERS. Split lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into halves. Tumble with Salt and let stand for at least 30 minutes, tumbling now and then.
  2. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Mix with Water and Soy Sauce. Let stand for 30 minutes or more.
  3. Slice GINGER thin.
  4. Mix all Dressing items.
Run   -   (20 min + overnight)
  1. In a wok of sauté pan, heat Oil. Fry Ginger and Sichuan Peppercorns stirring until Ginger is lightly browned. Take off heat and scrape Ginger and Peppercorns out into a mixing bowl large enough for the whole recipe - leaving all the Oil in the pan.
  2. Return pan to the heat. Stir Sugar into the oil and fry stirring until Sugar is melted.
  3. Stir in Dressing mix and Garlic mix, stirring until well distributed and all sticky lumps of sugar have dissolved. Pour out into the mixing bowl with the Ginger mix.
  4. Drain Cucumbers thoroughly. Do not rinse. Stir Cucumbers into the mixing bowl until well coated. Refrigerate overnight. I seal it all in a plastic bag, and turn the bag now and then.
  5. Adjust seasonings if needed. Serve cool.
NOTES:
  1. Cucumber: If at all possible use a thin cucumber like Persian or Japanese that doesn't have to be peeled and seeded. If all you have is the standard green blimps, you will have to peel and seed them, then weigh them. For details see our Cucumbers page.
  2. Sichuan Peppercorns   Fruits of a prickly ash tree, now again legal in the US so long as they are lightly toasted. These are nothing at all like black pepper. For details see our Sichuan Pepper page.
  3. Black Vinegar:   This rice vinegar is available in most markets serving an East or Southeast Asian community. That from Chinkiang is considered the best, and Gold Plum is a good brand. For details see our Sours page.
  4. Chili Paste   Various Chili Pastes can be used. For the photo example I used Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce. 2 T made these pickles noticeably but not offensively hot by Southern California standards. While I could easily standi 3 T, I have guests to consider. For details see our Chili Sauces page.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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