Do you remember what you ate last weekend? For me, we met up with a Malaysian friend of mine who just arrived to Melbourne with her family. I brought them to my all-time-favourite Sichuan restaurant located in the heart of Toorak Rd, near Melbourne CBD. It’s also my return to this restaurant since my last visit a year ago.
Ask me if I like Sichuan? Yes! I love Sichuan but you can say that initially I disliked it because of the perception that Sichuan means mouth numbing, heart thumping and uncomfortably spicy. The pictures depicting oily, spicy, red-colored food is really really deceptive 🙂
So, this dish is not as spicy or mouth numbing as it looks. Just because it’s red and sichuan-pepper-corned doesn’t mean it’s really really spicy.
Surprisingly it tastes refreshingly good when served chilled and really really tasty with the addition of toasted sesame seeds. The black vinegar with chilli dressing gives a hint of black magic…if you know what I mean 🙂
Spicy Vinegar Cucumber Salad (adapted from Sebastian Goh’s The Hot & Spicy Way)
1 continental cucumber
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed, to garnish
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp fried garlic, to garnish
Few thin strips of chilli, to garnish
1 tsp chilli bean sauce (doban djan)
4 tsp black vinegar (use Chinking vinegar)
3 pcs mashed Sichuan peppercorn (omit if you dislike mouth numbing effect)
2 tsp chilli oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1. Cut cucumber into triangles and put in a mixing bowl. Put in 1/2 tsp salt and gently rub and mix into the chopped cucumbers. Set aside for 1 minute and then rinse with water and drain. Keep in fridge to chill.
2. Prepare the dressing by combining all the ingredients. Taste and adjust to your liking.
3. At least 15 mins before serving, mix the dressing with cucumber. Toss and ensure it’s well coated. Set aside in the fridge.
4. Place the cucumber and dressing on a plate. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Garnish with fried garlic and a few strips of chilli on the top.