Our Sesame Cucumbers are inspired by P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers. In a world drenched in fried pickle chips, cheese sticks, or anything stuffed with cheese, this clean, crisp dish really appeals to me. It’s a flavorful, refreshing appetizer that’s fun to share and is easy to toss together. A great idea all the way around.
I bring big bowls of sesame cucumbers to potlucks/parties/book clubs; it suits every grazing gathering where you already know there will be plenty of supermarket hummus (bring all 6 varieties!), cheese blocks and cubes, cut up fruit, crock pot meatballs (not that there’s anything wrong with them), and sweets. No one brings cucumbers, and everyone is glad when I do, especially the gals. Even if they’re drinking white wine. Or, especially when they are.
Cucumbers offer a truly distinctive flavor and smell, and they play well with both vegetables and fruits. The Farmers Market summer cukes are always great, and I also appreciate the long elegant thin-skinned hot house cucumbers available year-around. Those don’t require peeling and are virtually seedless.
Sesame Cucumbers are dressed simply with soy and vinegar. Substitute a drizzle of bottled Japanese Ponzu sauce to make this even easier. And I love combining the two colors of sesame seeds, but one color is certainly enough. Don’t have sesame seeds? Try chopped salted peanuts instead. (When you pick up sesame seeds, store them in the refrigerator or freezer).
Here’s more inspiration to put your cukes to work for you, and more good reasons to keep your mandoline handy:
Corn Cucumber Salad is a recipe to make with your summer corn.
Greek Yogurt Cucumbers is my go-to for turning any meal into a Mediterranean feast.
Here’s our cucumber and tomato salad and how it’s popular in so many cultures.
This pickled cucumber radish salad will knock your socks off when paired with any Mexican-style meat like our crock-pot chile verde pulled pork.
If you don’t have a recipe for classic cucumber Benedictine for your May Derby parties try our dip.
Spicy Cantaloupe Salad will really get you thinking differently about the cucumber.
- 2 medium cucumbers, peeled and seeded if needed, cut into quarters and then 1-inch chunks
- 2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- Red pepper flakes, to taste, optional
- Black and brown toasted sesame seeds, or whatever you have
Combine the cucumber chunks, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to taste. Chill until serving. For an easy summer appetizer serve this with toothpicks.
You can substitute ponzu for the soy sauce and vinegar. Make as much as you like and add a little more soy and vinegar to taste.