Pickled Cucumber and Shrimp Stir Fry – a light, tender crisp, and refreshingly piquant side dish perfect with a bowl of steamed rice.
When it comes to cucumbers, most people would think of eating them raw or pickled. Did you know they are also delicious in a stir fry? Yes, cucumbers can be very tasty when lightly cooked. They become “sweeter” and “meatier” in the pan.
I know of two ways to do a cucumber stir fry. One is to cut the cucumber into chunks and cook it with minced pork. The other is to cut the cucumber into ¼ inch thick pieces, lightly pickle in vinegar, and then stir fry with chicken gizzards.
Today’s Pickled Cucumber and Shrimp Stir Fry is the latter version using shrimps in place of chicken gizzards. The addition of red onion and red chili give this dish texture and a more vibrant color.
Cucumber is a mild vegetable with high water content. Salting can help draw out some of that water making it more suitable for stir frying. Do give it a try.
- 2 cucumbers
- ¼ cup (60ml) rice vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small red onion, cubed
- 1 red chili, seeded and cut into strips
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lb (225g) medium sized shrimps, peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
- Cut cucumbers into quarters lengthwise. Cut off the seeds. Then cut each strip diagonally into ¼ inch thick pieces.
- Place cucumber pieces in a bowl. Add rice vinegar, salt, and granulated sugar. Mix well and allow it to pickle for 30 minutes. Discard the pickling solution.
- Heat a large wok or fry pan. Add vegetable oil. When oil is hot, add red onion and chili strips. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Then add garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add shrimps, pickled cucumbers, and soy sauce. Stir fry until shrimps curl and turn pink, about 3 minutes.
- Add cornstarch mixture. When sauce thickens, turn off stove. Transfer to a dish.
- Serve immediately with steamed rice.