A simple Korean cucumber salad, perfect to serve alongside Asian-inspired meats, as banchan, or as part of a larger Korean-style spread.
- 1 tsp gochugaru (Korean dried chilli flakes, see note)
- 1 1/2 tsp Japanese rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- very large pinch sea salt, plus extra for serving
- large pinch golden caster sugar
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) English cucumbers
- 4 large spring onions
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- In a large bowl whisk together the gochugaru, rice wine vinegar (see note), toasted sesame oil, a very large pinch of salt and a good pinch of sugar to make a dressing.
- Top, tail and quarter the cucumber lengthways (peeling is a personal choice here, either go with or without, or pattern your cucumber peel for visual effect) before chopping into rough chunks.
- Add the cucumber to the bowl and toss well with the dressing.
- Top, tail and slice the spring onions on the diagonal.
- Transfer the cucumber and its dressing to a serving dish and scatter the sliced spring onions and sesame seeds over the top. Finish with a little more sea salt before serving.
Gochugaru is a Korean red pepper powder / dried chilli flakes that usually come in a clear, red topped canister. You can find them at the Asian supermarket or order them on Amazon (ad). You’ll miss out on some of the signature Korean flavour, but Pul Bieber / Aleppo chilli flakes will do in a pinch.
You might need to add a little more salt and sugar to taste to your marinade if you use Chinese rice wine vinegar which is unseasoned, rather than the seasoned Japanese version specified, but the substitution is still acceptable.