(Inspired by Fuschia Dunlop)


  • 1 cucumber (about 10 oz/300g)
  • 1 tbsp garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 – 10 dried chilies
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (canola or vegetable)
  • ½ – 1 tsp whole Sichuan pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp black rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar


Step 1

Lay the cucumber on a chopping board and smack it hard a few times with the flat blade of a cleaver or with a rolling pin.
Then cut it, length ways, into four pieces.
Hold your knife at an angle to the chopping board and cut the cucumber on the diagonal into ½–1 cm slices.
Place in a bowl with the salt, mix well and set aside for about 10 minutes.

Step 2

Heat a seasoned wok or a fry pan over high heat.
Pour in the cooking oil.
Quickly swirl it around, then add the chilies and Sichuan pepper.
Stir-fry the spices until the chilies are darkening but not burned.
Remove from heat and let cool in a separate container.

Step 3

Combine all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
Drain the cucumber, pour over the sauce, stir well and serve immediately.

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