The basis of oriental cucumber salads is in the combination of fresh cucumbers, fermented soy, garlic and sesame oil. As with any other salad, it is crucial to get its core ingredients right. Then you can vary the basic ingredients to your taste, as well as add some extras.
Chop about 1 cup of fresh cucumbers; a smaller size and organic ones are preferred.
Drizzle with soy sauce. If you are using low-salt soy sauce, then sprinkle with some Himalayan salt as well. If you are not in a hurry, toss it and let it sit for an hour.
Toss it again and let it sit for a minute. Drizzle with some rice vinegar or any vinegar to your taste. Toss again and after a minute, drain the liquid. Add minced garlic, sprinkle it with some salt and add some soy sauce and sesame oil. Whole baby garlic will do the best.
There is no need to toss the salad again. However you can toss it if you prefer that garlic blends in better.
- Mix in a small amount of sugar or honey along with soy sauce in the beginning stage.
- Use liquid aminos as a healthier alternative to soy sauce.
- Add spices like a small amount of ground peppercorns, black pepper or paprika.
- Add yogurt as extra dressing if the garlic is too strong.
- Add crushed red peppers, Japanese 7 Spice Seasoning or Perfect Pinch Salad Supreme Seasoning.
- Place croutons on top and drizzle with sesame or olive oil.
- Season with some chopped herbs like cilantro or dill.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds or mix them into the salad in the beginning.
- Use peppercorn sesame oil.
- Spiralize cucumbers instead of just chopping them using one of the spiralizers.
A Deeper Modification.
Modify the salad even further. Substitute cucumbers for tomatoes or tomberries.
Tomato, soy sauce and garlic combination also works really well.
Tomato berries or tomberries are not easy to find but easy to grow.