• 2 tbsp. chile oil
• A pinch or two of ground roasted Sichuan peppercorns, optional
Lay the cucumber on a chopping board and smack it hard a few times with the flat blade of a Chinese cleaver or with a rolling pin. Then cut it, lengthways, into 4 pieces. Hold your knife at an angle to the chopping board and cut the cucumber on the diagonal into 1/8- to 3/8-inch slices. Place in a bowl with the salt, mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine garlic, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, chile oil and ground Sichuan pepper.
Drain cucumber, add to the sauce, stir well and serve immediately.
Variations: For a sweet-and-sour sauce, combine 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. finely chopped garlic, 2 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. brown rice vinegar, 1 tsp. soy sauce and, if preferred for some heat, 2 tbsp. chile oil.
Nutrition information per 2 tablespoons:
Calories 38 Fat 3 g Sodium 110 mg
Carbohydrates 2 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 7 mg
Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: ½ fat.
Steamed Sea Bass with Ginger √
Serves 4 or more as part of Chinese meal.
Note: In China, this fish would be presented whole. Don’t forget to offer the fish cheeks to your most honored guest before you remove the head. Rice cooking wine can be found in some supermarkets and in Asian markets, or substitute medium-bodied sherry (or leave it out entirely). Whole trout could also be used.
• 5 green onions, divided
• 2 oz. piece of ginger