Friday, March 2, 2012

Japanese Marinated Cucumbers

My brother in law actually introduced this dish to me and never disclosed where he got it. I later found that it was more of an adapted Californian version of a Japanese recipe for pickling daikon.

6-8 medium, firm cucumbers or 3 Japanese cucumbers
¼ cup white sugar dissolved in ½ cup hot water
¼ cup white vinegar
3-5 cups water
1 tsp white pepper

Peel the cucumbers and slice them extremely thin. Place them in a plastic container that holds 1 to 1 1/2 liters with a sealable lid.

Use a coffee cup to dissolve the sugar in the hot water. When the sugar is dissolved, add the vinegar to the sugar water. Fill the plastic container with the cucumbers with water about 3-4 cm from the rim of the container. The cucumbers should be floating in the water. Add the sugar and vinegar water to the cucumbers and mix gently. Taste it. The mixture should be pungent but balanced – add more sugar or vinegar a little bit at a time to get the right balance of tastes.

When a suitable blend has been reached, add the white pepper and gently mix. The cucumbers should float and not be packed too tightly together. Put the cucumbers in the refrigerator and let stand for at least an hour - 2 to 3 hours is best. Once they reach a certain strength, they will not become more intense and they will last in the fridge for several days.

Taste before serving. The thin cucumbers should be crispy and tangy. They go great as a side dish to fish or as a appetizer with sake or mixed drinks.

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