It has been in the upper 70s and sunny in my area and this salad is perfect for warm days. The crisp coolness of cucumbers is balanced perfectly by the nutty sesame seeds, tanginess from the rice vinegar and sweetness from the brown sugar. And gochugaru?! Where have you been all my life? The perfect blend of sweet and spicy, this Korean pepper flake is definitely a new kitchen staple for me.
It should be noted, though, I eyeballed everything! Luckily, in the video the creator does list each ingredient needed. So have fun with it :) Listed below are the proportions I used to make enough salad for one person.
TikTok-Inspired Spiralized Cucumber Gochugaru Salad
- 5 Mini cucumbers
- 3–5 Green onions, sliced
- 1/2–1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
- 1/2 Tbsp Soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Gochugaru (Korean pepper powder)
- 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp Salt
1. I often use what I have on hand, and for this I had miniature cucumbers. The TikToker offers a neat method for spiralizing so I tried it. I imagine that their method works better with full-sized cukes, but it still mostly worked for me.
2. Take one cucumber and lay it between two chopsticks. Make straight cuts as though you are just making small cucumber discs. The chopsticks will hinder the blade from going all the way through. Do that the entire length down, then flip the cucumber over and repeat but make the cuts at a 45 degree angle this time. When you pick up your cucumber, it will be spiralized.
3. Repeat with all cucumbers.
4. Once done, put the cucumbers into a bowl and pour the 1 Tbsp salt all over them, trying to get it on the flesh inside. Leave to sit for 15 minutes—it helps pull the excess moisture out. I’m not actually sure why this is necessary, except that the dressing is a lot of liquid? At any rate, I haven’t tried this recipe without this step.
5. Meanwhile, chop your green onions and mince the garlic.
6. After 15 minutes, rinse the cucumbers well with cold water and pat dry with a clean, lint free cloth.
7. Then put them into a bowl/serving dish and add in the onions, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, gochugaru, brown sugar and sesame seeds. Mix well and enjoy while still chilled and crispy!
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Photo: R. Coker