Cucumbers have been widely cultivated in China for more than two thousand years since their introduction from India where they originated. There are a number of species on the market, the most common being dark green with a smooth skin and about 1 ft (300 mm) in length. This vegetable, although very watery, is eaten cooked as well as raw in China.
1 medium-sized cucumber
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vinegar
a few drops sesame seed oil
Split the cucumber in half lengthways, then cut it across into thick chunks. Do not peel, but extract its bitterness by marinating it with the salt for 10 minutes or so, then pouring the juice away. After that, mix it with sugar and vinegar, garnish with a few drops of sesame seed oil, and it is ready to serve.
© Deh-Ta Hsiung and reproduced with his kind permission.