Crunchy cucumber and sesame salad

cucumber and sesame salad

My kids love cucumbers. My little cucumber-eating champ of a 21-month old daughter, who still only has barely ten teeth (why?!), always impresses me with the alarming amount of cuke she manages to put away at each sitting. Although it’s super easy to just thinly slice up a cucumber and feed it to them, I am always keen on introducing exciting textures and tastes to their budding palates. Using the vegetable peeler to create long ribbons of cucumber not only makes it more delicate and tender for the little ones, but the salad also looks elegant enough to serve as a starter or side at a dinner party. The children had this crisp salad for lunch today with fluffy Japanese rice and a simple steamed egg custard, but it would be equally great as a refreshing accompaniment to a fillet of spicy grilled fish.

To prepare the cucumbers, it is important (for me) to first remove the bitterness caused by the cucurbitacins in the fruit. My maternal grandmother, who cared for me when I was little, taught me from Day One, that the way to do this is to cut about an inch off the stem end of the cucumber, and rub the cut ends in a circular fashion for about a minute, until a layer of white foam appears. Discard the small cucumber stub and slice off a little of the cucumber where the white foam lies. I don’t know if this resonates as an old wives’ tale, but I certainly ain’t one to argue with my grandmother on matters of the kitchen (or actually, any matter at all). So I have obediently done as I’m told for two decades, and will surely be passing on to my kids, this trick from their great-grandmother, when they come of age.

About Dawn Chia

Dawn, a lanky food-crazed lady, started out writing for lifestyle magazines, and later spent several years in banking. When not eating, she's cooking, reading about, hankering after, and writing about food. On her first date with her boyfriend (now husband), they dined at four restaurants across Singapore. He's gained 25lbs since, and their culinary escapades continue after welcoming two rotund angels. Dawn's committed to feeding them with the best, and creating lasting food memories and traditions for her family.