Sometimes cucumbers bore me to tears. No offense, cucumber, but your chill flavor can be a little underwhelming at times! It wasn't until I began spiralizing cucumber into long, elegant strands that my affection for this vegetable really began to change.
The real key to this recipe isn't the fact that cucumbers have been made into noodles, but that the noodle are very thin. This alone has made cucumber even more enticing for me. While the size of the noodle is 100 percent a personal preference (after all, this salad can be made with ribbon-cut cucumbers as well), the smaller size twirls around the fork in such a satisfying manner that it's hard to not to smile when you tuck into a bowl.
This chilled salad is tart and refreshing and gets just a hint of savory, toasty flavor from the tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. It stores surprisingly well in the fridge and is just as delicious on day one as it is on day three or four.
Chilled Cucumber Noodles with Sesame Dressing
2 large cucumbers (about 1 pound), peeled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Fit a colander or fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Using a spiralizer with the thinnest "noodle" attachment, spiralize the cucumber into long, thin strands. Place in the colander, sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and toss to combine. Let the noodles stand 30 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
When the noodles are ready, add them to the dressing and gently toss to coat. Taste and season with more salt as needed. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if using and serve immediately.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, preferably without the sesame seeds. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds just before serving.
- Food styling by Ryan Reineck