It’s been a busy week and again, we are in the mood for something refreshing. I noticed last week that young ginger is now available at the farmers market, so I picked some up. So many things can be made from it, and it is so soft, tender and much easier to peel and grate. If you like ginger, and If you’ve never had ginger in this form before, you will love it!
I just made some cucumber namasu with what I bought on Saturday. If you’ve never had namasu before, it is a nice, little Japanese side dish made with uncooked vegetables, marinated in a simple vinaigrette. It’s then chilled and in the process, it becomes slightly pickled. The first time I ever had it, it was made from bitter melon, and it was absolutely delicious. An elderly, Japanese friend of Monty’s gave some to us, and what I loved about it was the bits of bean thread (also known as long rice or cellophane noodles) and imitation crab that was in it. Today I made it with Japanese cucumbers, and if you ask me, it really is about the marinade. Here’s how I did it:
1 large English cucumber (or several small Japanese cucumbers, if available)
1½ teaspoons salt
4 oz. mung bean or rice noodles
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (young ginger,
1 tablespoon bottled sushi ginger, chopped
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced crosswise
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon bottled sushi ginger liquid
1 teaspoon sesame oil (or to taste)
4 oz. flake crab meat, chopped (optional ~
imitation is okay)
1 tablespoon sesame seed (I used white and black)
Place mung bean or rice noodles into a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to sit for 1 hour, then drain.
Snip into 1-2 inch lengths with kitchen shears, if you have them. Set aside.
Peel cucumbers and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and then cut into thin slices. Sprinkle the salt over the cucumbers and mixit in. Marinate in the fridge for about an hour, then rinse excess salt off with water. Drain, then gently squeeze out any water from the cucumbers. Pat them dry.
Chop the green onions and gingers, and place them into a bowl.
Heat rice vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, until the sugar dissolves. Cool. Mix in liquid from sushi ginger and the sesame oil.
Mix gingers, green onions, crabmeat and sesame seeds with the cucumbers.
Add the bean thread and toss again.
Dress with cooled dressing and chill for several hours.
Garnish with some furikake, if you have some.
We enjoy our summer dinners on the lanai. I served this with one of our favorites~ Chinese pork with long squash, which I posted a few weeks ago. Delicious together!