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Cucumbers With Pickled Ginger–Scallion Sauce

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Cucumbers With Pickled GingerScallion Sauce in a large white plate
Photograph by Peden + Munk, food styling by Adriana Paschen, prop styling by Ceci Garcia

This ginger-scallion sauce uses jarred pickled ginger (gari) in place of fresh for a brighter spin on the good-on-everything staple. Usually served in a twisted heap alongside a platter of sushi, gari is meant to cleanse the palate between bites of fish and rice. It’s that same refreshing quality that works so well in this sauce, with the sweetness and acidity of the pickles mellowing the sharper bite of raw scallions. Salt the cucumbers ahead of time, but dress the salad just before eating for a well-seasoned salad that still has some crunch.

Recipe information

  • Total Time

    15 minutes

  • Yield

    4 servings

Ingredients

5 mini seedless, Persian, or other small cucumbers (about 12 oz.)
3 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 6.7-oz. jar pickled sushi ginger, drained, coarsely chopped
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
½ bunch cilantro leaves with tender stems only, coarsely chopped

Preparation

  1. Step 1

    Gently smash 5 mini seedless, Persian, or other small cucumbers with a rolling pin or the back of a heavy knife just to break open. Tear into irregular 1" pieces and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt and toss to combine. Let sit at least 5 minutes and up to 1 hour.

    Step 2

    Mix 6 scallions, thinly sliced, one 6.7-oz. jar pickled sushi ginger, drained, coarsely chopped, ¼ cup vegetable oil, 3 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, and remaining 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal and 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a small bowl to combine.

    Step 3

    Squeeze cucumbers thoroughly and drain off excess liquid. Pour pickled ginger–scallion sauce over and toss to coat. Transfer salad to a platter and top with ½ bunch cilantro leaves with tender stems only, coarsely chopped.

    Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

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  • A total smash..get it?! But seriously this is such a fun recipe and you can totally play around with what you’ve got. If you can’t find seedless you can always just scrape out the seeds with a spoon after you smash it and give it a little extra time to salt out the water. I sub rice vinegar for the sherry and use whatever neutral oil i have like avocado oil. Also I like to add a tbsp or so to taste of toasted sesame oil as well. You can spice it up with a little chili paste or Asian hot sauce of your choice. This recipe is staying in the rotation!

    • manishaalala

    • Los Angeles, CA

    • 6/9/2024

  • I brought this last night to a potluck and thought it was absolutely delicious. A few notes on the recipe: -I doubled the amount of cucumbers (to 1 1/2 pounds of it) and kept everything else the same, and that was the right move. The recipe makes way more sauce than that amount of cucumber needs. -My sushi ginger was the pink kind, which made my dish less attractive than the photo. Still tasted fab. -I eliminated the salt from the scallion-ginger dressing recipe, thinking that the salted cucumbers and 3 Tbsp. of soy sauce would provide plenty of salt. That was correct, and I think any more salt would have pushed it over into too-salty territory.

    • Sarah

    • Tyler, TX

    • 6/7/2024

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