Generally speaking, we at Mr Bao do not advocate the physical abuse of fruit or vegetables. No matter how frustrated our chefs get, we simply won’t have it – not on our watch. With one exception.
Cucumbers, it turns out, can be vastly improved with the application of some Asian food-cupboard staples and some not-so-gentle physical force. First, halve your cucumbers and sprinkle on a bit of salt – this helps draw out excess moisture. After you've rinsed them off and patted dry, chop them up into chunks and mix up the dressing – soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, chilli, sesame and a little bit of salt and sugar. Then, it’s time to get forceful. Using the side of a massive knife (or a rolling pin, or a heavy bottle, or your bare fists if it’s been a really bad day), simply clobber your cucumbers – this helps break the cell membranes which in turn lets the sweet, salty, fragrant sauce work its way in.
Okay, this is probably being a bit too aggressive.
Let them sit for a couple of hours with the dressing for the flavours to get acquainted and that’s it – an oddly moreish side that’s at once zingy and cooling, and one of your five-a-day to boot. Does wonders for your stress levels, too!
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