Spicy Cucumber Salad with Peanuts

A great accompaniment to chicken or fish, this traditional Thai salad recipe is from the book “Vegetables Every Day”, by Jack Bishop, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., New York, 2001. Jack tells us that a tiny (very hot) red Thai chile is excellent in this recipe. But if that’s a little too hot for you, a jalapeno is fine as well. As we always suggest, remember to use gloves when handling the peppers.
Prep time: 10 minutes + 1 hour to allow draining time for cucumbers
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6
3 medium Cucumbers, unpeeled or peeled (personal preference), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup Rice vinegar
1/2 cup Water
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 small fresh Chile, stemmed, seeded if desired to reduce the heat, and minced
2 Tablespoons minced Red onion
2 Tablespoons finely chopped roasted salted Peanuts
Parsley or Cilantro for garnish, optional
1. Toss the cucumbers and salt in a large strainer or colander set over a bowl. Fill a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag with ice water and set the bag on top of the cucumber slices. Drain for 1 hour.
2. Combine the vinegar, water, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes slightly syrupy, and is reduced to about 1/3 cup. This will take about 10 minutes. Cool the mixture to room temperature.
3. Stir the chile, onion and peanuts into the dressing. Thoroughly rinse the cucumber slices under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
4. Toss the cucumber slices with the dressing. Top with optional parsley or cilantro. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

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