Cousin Sharon took me to Din Tai Fung restaurant at South Coast Plaza Mall on my recent trip to Southern California. As we were eating the spicy cucumber salad, Sharon shared her recipe for them. Of course, I had to make them when I returned home. They are so flavorful with just the right amount of heat in them. Thanks, Sharon for sharing!
4-5 Persian cucumbers
1 T sugar
1 T Japanese rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 T chili oil
Cut the Persian cucumbers in 3/4' to 1" chunks (as pictured above). Sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt on the cucumbers, and set aside for 20 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers in cold water, drain and pat dry with paper towels. In a small glass bowl, mix the vinegar and sugar and microwave for 20 seconds until the sugar is dissolved. When it has cooled down, pour it over the cucumbers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. When ready to serve, place the cucumbers in a serving dish. Heat the chili oil in the microwave for 15-20 seconds until hot, and pour over the cucumbers. Drizzle sesame oil on top.
If you cannot find the chili oil at the grocery store, you can substitute it with 1 tablespoon of peanut oil mixed with 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (the one with the rooster label).