Cucumbers have not received as much press as other vegetables in terms of health benefits, but this widely-cultivated food provides us with a unique combination of nutrients and are a valuable source of conventional antioxidant nutrients
While there are literally hundreds of different varieties, virtually all can be divided into two basic types: slicing and pickling.
Two common questions about cucumbers involve consumption of their skin and their seeds. There are several facts you need to know before making your decision about consumption of cucumber skins and seeds. First, it is important to remember that the skins and seeds of cucumbers are both rich in nutrients. In fact, the nutrient richness of both plant parts is significantly higher than the flesh. But??????? Both conventionally grown and organically grown cucumbers may have been waxed!!!!! However, the only waxes that can be used on organically grown cucumbers are non-synthetic waxes, and these waxes must be free of all chemical contaminants that are prohibited under organic regulations. Conventionally grown cucumbers may be waxed with synthetic waxes that contain unwanted chemical contaminants. For these reasons, it is recommended to leave the skin of organically grown cucumbers intact regardless of whether the organically grown cucumber has been waxed. For conventionally grown cucumbers, removal of the waxed skin is recommended. I really do miss the white skin cucumber in Malaysia and i don't think that they are waxed, unlike the green thick skinned cucumber sold here, so...... waxed. As for the seeds, asian pickling recipes call for removal as the seeds will be soft and asians like the crunch. The seeds are left on for sliced cucumber but when the cucumber is matured, the seeds are not good eats.
After all the complicated recipes that i have attempted and shared, i would like to share a simple and delicious salad which needs only a few ingredients and a nice big chinese cleaver. The name of this salad might sound rather uninspiring and it is so called because of the unusual method used to chop the cucumber but the smacking does help with releasing some tension.
1 large organically grown cucumber - washed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp light soya sauce
2 cloves peeled garlic - chopped fine
1 bird chilly/red jalapeno - chopped.
1 tsp chinkiang rice vinegar or any vinegar available
A sprinkle of sesame oil
Take the cucumber, with the ends chopped off, and lay it on a sturdy chopping board so it points away from you.
Hold the big chinese cleaver in your left hand (vice versa for lefties) and hold it so the blade is flat against the cucumber (sharp side pointing away from you). Make a fist with your right hand, and hammer the cleaver giving it a whack. The idea is that the cucumber bursts, but isn’t turned to mush. .Alternatively, smack the cucumber until it bursts open. This unusual whack or smack leaves the edges of each part of the cucumber jagged, rather than smooth, so they hold the dressing better.
Take the debris, remove the seeds if the cucumber is too matured(like me) and slice it into bite-size pieces.
Sprinkle the cucumber with salt and leave for 30 minutes. When time is up, run the cucumber until cold runny water to wash away the salt. Drain well.
Mix with sugar and leave in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
To serve, mix cucumber pieces with light soya sauce, chopped garlic, chopped chilly, vinegar and sesame oil.