“Pickled” cucumbers have always been one of my favorite summertime foods. The moment it hits 80 degrees, I’m at the grocery store searching for the nearest display of cucumbers. When it comes to buying cucumbers, I prefer Persian cucumbers over English ones. Persian ones tend to be less seedy and also less watery. I also find them crunchier and overall just cuter, because who doesn’t like mini cucumbers? If English cucumbers are the only thing you have on hand, the recipe works just as well, but I’d definitely recommend trying to make them with Persian cucumbers one day!
These cucumbers were a staple of my household growing up. My grandma used to grow them in her garden, and even after we moved away from her and her weekly cucumber ration, my mom continued to serve these every summer. There’s just something so refreshing about cucumbers. When I started helping out in the kitchen, this dish was one of the first dishes I was allowed to help out with. Looking back, I guess it makes sense cause these cucumbers are so soft, I was able to use a butter knife to slice through them, ha!
If the “pickles” title makes you think of sour, dill-flavored pickles, you’re in for a (nice) surprise! These ones are flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper and topped with sesame seeds. They also happen to be ready to eat in 15 minutes. The combination of these three ingredients, seriously make for the most umami-packed and crisp cucumbers. If you’ve noticed that I’ve left garlic out from these cucumbers and are wondering why, the Taiwanese cucumbers that I’ve ever had, never included garlic, so I’m going with the taste that I know. If you’re dying to include some chopped garlic, go for it! Just beware that raw garlic packs a more spicy and pungent flavor, so use sparingly. The best way to eat these “pickles” are chilled and marinated for about 30 minutes or so, but they’re delicious right off the bat as well.
Alright, well let’s get straight to it! One platter of crisp, savory “pickles” coming right up.
QUICK NOTE: If you don’t have white pepper, simply leave it out! Do not try and substitute it with black pepper. White pepper and black pepper have distinct tastes, and while white pepper is much milder, adding in black pepper into these “pickles” will make it overwhelmingly peppery.
TAIWANESE CUCUMBERS WITH SESAME OIL | Makes 1 large plate, feeds 3-4 people
- 7 Persian cucumbers (generally how many that come in a pack)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Slice Persian cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices and toss in large bowl
- Add in soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated
- Place in fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
- Before serving sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top of “pickles”
- Consume immediately (and relish in the refreshing taste)