Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Asian Smashed Cucumber Salad – Bish ! Bash ! Bosh !

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Is cucumber really at its happiest cut into slippery slices, the sole, straight-laced player in a sandwich for a prim tea with the vicar? 

Doesn't it secretly long to luxuriate in a dish of cool yoghurt, garlic and herbs as part of a classic Tzaziki? Wouldn't it be happier doing the backstroke in a bowl of Gazpacho

On its own, it is nothing. With the right company, it can be a star. Here, it is smashed into rough-edged chunks to join the riot that is Asian Smashed Cucumber Salad. Smash ! Mix ! Serve !

For a cucumber salad with personality you will need…
2 English cucumbers (long, narrow, smooth-skinned), ends removed

Dressing ingredients
3 tablespoons groundnut oil or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 red chilli (hot is best, but go mild if you must), very finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
2 tablespoons of very finely chopped spring onions
1 teaspoon of very finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)

To serve
a handful of coriander leaf (cilantro)
1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds (optional)
salt, to taste

Bish (well, bash really)

Bish:  to prepare the cucumber, place on a chopping board and bash with a rolling pin, mallet, or other suitable object, until broken (but not mashed). Discard any seeds that come loose and cut or break the cucumber into bite-sized pieces. (You may want to cover the cucumber with a clean tea towel to prevent splashes, and bits escaping).

Place the pieces in a colander, and place the colander in a bowl. Put a plate or saucer on top so that it is in contact with the cucumber. Weigh it down - with food cans, a water-filled saucepan, whatever - to help squeeze out the excess juice. Set aside for about 30 minutes while you make the dressing.

Bash: For the dressing, simply mix together the ingredients – I put them in a jar with a screw top lid, and give it a good shake.

Bash (well, mix really)

Drain and discard the juice from the cucumber and place the pieces in a shallow serving dish. Pour the dressing over. Cover and place in the fridge. Leave to bask in the reflected glory of the dressing for a few hours.

Bosh: When ready to serve, mix through the coriander leaf (and scatter with the toasted sesame seeds, if using). Taste and add a little salt and a touch more sugar only if necessary.

Bish, bash, bosh (but mostly bash, really).

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  1. What fun to make! Especially when I need to vent! Have you coined a new term, Hester?

  2. Delicious! And Happy Birthday!!!!

  3. Hi Rosemary,

    Yes, it was fun to make - definitely a venting dish :) Ref the phrase, unfortunately I didn't coin it. Bish, bash, bosh is very British (The Urban Dictionary says "Used to describe the efficiency of a process you have just explained, often used if there are 3 steps to the process." It just seemed to fit with this salad - especially the bashing bit)

    Hi Lorraine, thanks for the birthday greetings, Hx

  4. Happy Birthday, lovely one. I can't wait to bash a cucumber. I do disagree with one thing. I'm happy enough to walk around eating a cucumber with nothing but a little salt. :)

  5. Thanks for the birthday greetings, Maureen. What a healthy snack! I could manage cucumber sticks with some sort of dip or dressing.

  6. This is one of my favourite way to prepare cucumber salad. I always use a meat mallet to smash them while my mom prefers the back of a Chinese knife.

  7. This sounds delicious and something different to try out with cucumbers too!

  8. Nothing like a bashed cucumber but the star is probably the dressing. Is that bash or bish or bosh?


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