I have been eating variations of this cucumber salad for years whenever I go to a Japanese restaurant. Yet I’d never thought to make it myself. Seeing it recently on pal Milla’s Instagram feed (do check her out for mouthwatering food, food for thought and inspirational/intriguing off the beaten path travel), it dawned on me that I had all the ingredients to do so.
The balance between the refreshing cucumber, bite of the dressing and crunch from the sesame seeds makes this dish truly mouthwatering. Whenever I’m confronted with a member of the I Hate Salad Brigade, I make this and I’ve managed to convert a few!
This salad is also great for beauty and overall health. Cucumber is one of the most hydrating vegetables with over 95 per cent water content. It also contains minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and silica, which are great for hair and nails and a key component in the process of producing collagen. Way to go cukes.
This salad is refreshing in the summer – cool as a cucumber etc. And as the weather gets colder, it’s a great way to eat your water. British grown cucumbers are in season until the October. So do more with them than make sandwiches, enjoy them like this!
Cucumber regularly appears in the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of fruit and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue so I try to buy them organic as much as possible. Aside from the pesticide issue, non-organic cucumbers are coated in a synthetic wax to prolong shelf life. If I’m not using organic cucumbers then I peel the skin. It does mean that you’re losing some nutrients but I’d rather that than be eating god knows what in the wax.
As you know the Soil Association has your back as far as organic goes. I wish we didn’t even need to use the word organic because organic food is just food as it should be and has been grown for most of human existence! This month is the Soil Association’sOrganic September celebrating organic food. If you’re making one small change for (all those small changes add up!) think of swapping to organic cucumber.
Tip: This salad is also delish using organic courgettes.
Sesame Cumber Salad Recipe (vegan, gluten-free)
Ingredients for Sesame Cucumber Salad:
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tablespoon of tamari (tamari is the Japanese form of soy sauce. It is very similar in taste and appearance to soy sauce, but usually made without wheat unlike soy sauce. It has a slightly more rounded taste to me. Just use soy sauce if that’s what you have)
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of gently toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 chilli finely chopped
- The juice of 1 lime
Instructions for Sesame Cucumber Salad:
- Thinly slice the whole cucumber and place in a bowl. You can separate it if you wish but I like to keep it together as I like the more dramatic presentation!
- Make the dressing by combining all the remaining ingredients.
- I like to leave this to marinade for at least an hour so the cucumber absorbs all the flavour.
- Just before serving, scoop up some of the dressing and pour on top of the cucumber.
- I love eating on its own as a snack. It’s also a deliciously simple and satisfying meal mixed with black rice. You know how much I love black rice. And utterly scrumptious as a side dish with fish or mushrooms.