One of the great things about Japanese salads is that they contain little or no fat. This one is more of a dipping sauce for cucumbers than it is a salad. It makes a great hors d’oeuvre with cocktails because it is savory and salty but won’t fill anyone up. 4 regular cucumbers, or 2 English cucumbers, peeled and halved lengthwise.
– 4 regular cucumbers, or 2 English cucumbers, peeled and halved lengthwise.
– 2 teaspoons coarse salt.
– ½ cup loosely packed dried bonito flakes (optional).
– ¼ cup rice vinegar.
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce.
– ¼ teaspoon Asian sesame oil.
– 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice.
– 1 tablespoon sugar.
– 1 green onion, white and 3 inches of the green, very thinly sliced.
Step 1:Scrape out the seeds from the cucumber halves with a spoon, then slice the halves crosswise into crescents about ⅛ inch thick. Place the cucumbers in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and then toss and rub the slices for about 2 minutes, or until the salt dissolves and no longer feels gritty. Transfer the cucumbers to a colander, set it in the sink or over a bowl, and let drain for about 30 minutes.
Step 2:Working with a little at a time, squeeze the cucumber slices in your fists to extract as much liquid and salt as possible. Put the cucumbers in a serving bowl or in individual bowls.
Step 3:If you are using the bonito flakes, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, immediately add the bonito flakes, let steep for 5 minutes,and then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and discard the bonito flakes. If you are not using the bonito flakes, just combine all the ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover and chill the sauce.
Step 4:Just before serving, stir the green onion into the sauce. Divide the sauce among small individual bowls and serve with the cucumber. Give everyone chopsticks or little forks for dipping.