Cucumbers are in season, and the Japanese pickle a lot of them before they become scarce and more expensive!
Here is a very simple recipe to preserve them and enjoy them anytime (with a cool drink?):
INGREDIENTS: For 1~2 persons
-Cucumber: 1 fairly long. Japanese cucumbers are comparatively thin and crunchy. Be aware that the large soft cucumbers found in “Western” countries might not be appropriate. Moreover, the Japanese eat the cucumbers whole.
-Salt: a pinch
-Salted seaweed (shio konbu): to taste. I personally like quite a lot!
-Sesame oil: to taste (do some pesonal research/experiments as to how much you would fancy!)
-White sesame seeds: to taste. i use quite a good amount myself!
-Cut both extremities of the cucumber and discard.
Close inside a vynil pouch and strike cucumber with a wooden pestle or the equivalent to break cucumber in uneven pieces.
-Take out. Drop cucmber pieces into a bowl. Add salt. Stir with yoyr hand. Let rest for a while.
Discard water which has seeped out of the cucumber.
Add salted seaweed. Stir the whole gently by hand for a little while.
-Transfer onto a dish. Arrange it for presentation. Sprinkle with sesame oil, then sesame seeds.
Note: Some people like it without the salt.
Washing the cucumber will take acidity out.
Breaking the cucumber by beating it will allow other ingredients to penetrate it more efficiently. If you don’t like the breaking method and prefer to cut the cucmber instead, let it rest for 10 minutes before adding the salt.