Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cucumber with Spicy Soy Sauce

Cucumber with Spicy Soy SauceWhen I was a child I ate anything except cucumbers. They were the only vegetable item I disliked. According to my imagination of that childhood time, this was because I thought they smelled like snails.

Snails were one of my favorite creatures. I kept them in a small container as pets when I was a kid. My pets were not only snails but also many kinds of insects, such as butterflies, cicadas, beetles, crickets and so on. Most of the insects died before fall naturally. However, snails stayed alive throughout the year. Therefore, snails were always present in my room.

I enjoyed my routine job taking care of them, like cleaning the containers, giving them fresh water and feeding them with fresh vegetables. Especially, I loved observing them eating cucumbers. Their small mouths stuck to cucumbers and crawled slowly on the surface of the cucumbers. After that there would be many small cute dents left on the cucumbers. Whenever I saw cucumbers, I thought of my snails eating them. Eventually, I disliked eating cucumbers.

I do not remember exactly when I released my snails from my small cages. But after I become a high school student, snails had been totally disappeared from my life. Not only snails, but the other insects had also been completely gone. Then, in a little while later, I started disliking insects. I felt disgusted seeing or touching them.

My snails are gone for two decades now. These days I exterminate snails without much thought when I find them in my garden. On the other hand, I enjoy eating escargot, which is a snail in French and also the name of a famous and delicious French dish based on snails. However, at any time I eat cucumbers, I still recall the friendship I had with these cute little creatures. Now I love cucumbers. They smell like summer and remind me of my innocent childhood.

3 cucumbers
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 tbsp dry goji berries

Spicy Soy Sauce:
4 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tsp minced green onion
1 red chili pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ clove of sliced garlic

Crashed Cucumbers
1. Place all of the ingredients of spicy soy sauce in a large bowl. Mix them well.
2. Optional: Place goji berries (they are red and can be found in any major market store that sells vegetables) in a small bowl and add water. Let them soak for about 20 minutes until they become soft. Remove them from the water.
3. Cut off the ends of the cucumbers. Partially peel off the skins of the cucumbers. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise into four pieces each. Then cut them around 2-inches long.
4. Using a roll pin or pestle, crush the pieces of the cucumbers and make crack them.
5. Put the cucumbers in the spicy soy sauce in the large bowl. Add the pine nuts and goji berries. Mix them well.
6. Refrigerate it from 30 minutes to a few hours. Serve as a clod appetizer or salad!

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