Please Pass the Recipe

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Cucumber Salad with Vietnamese Mint


A while ago I sent my dear man to pick up some zucchinis from the greengrocers. He returned with cucumbers. This is a man who loves to eat, but loathes shopping, especially for food and only comes into the kitchen to make coffee or get a corkscrew.

Fortuitously just the day before I’d read a post by Chef Mimi for a cucumber salad so I made her delicious salad and tucked the idea into my mind for future reference.

Fast forward to December in Queensland, it’s hot and it’s humid. Normally Australians from the Southern states stay at home at this time of the year, but the lure of family has brought us north and the climate dictates a diet of salads, seafood, barbeque and SE Asian style dishes which brings me back to cucumber salad.

Cooling cucumbers and Vietnamese mint dressed with fish sauce and lime juice are a perfect combination when the sky is heavy with storm clouds and the temperature is 32C. Serve the salad with some cooked prawns and an ice cold beer. Dinner!

2 thin skinned telegraph cucumbers
1 cup loosely packed Vietnamese mint leaves
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp chilli
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Wash the cucumbers then cut them in half lengthwise.
Use a teaspoon to scoop all the seeds out.
Thinly slice the cucumbers into crescents, put them into a bowl and set aside.
Strip the mint leaves from the stem, wash then roughly chop. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, chilli, garlic and sesame oil. Dress the cucumbers and allow them to steep for 30 minutes.
Drain off the dressing then toss the cucumbers with the mint and sesame seeds.
Serves 4

About ladyredspecs

I wear two blogger hats, food and photos. My inner Melbourne kitchen, the heart of my home, is concurrently art/craft studio, workplace and sweatshop. I am a slave to my cooking passion and to my cameras. My love of good food holds me in a lifetime of bondage, as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I feel privileged that my sixty years of experiences have mirrored both the cultural homogenization of Australian food and the digital progression of photography. While my love of food is acquired and my creations transient, the artistic genes I inherited and my photographic record permanent. These two loves are a natural yin and yang. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating, respect for ingredients, an abhorrence of artificial additives and a good palate, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

16 comments on “Cucumber Salad with Vietnamese Mint

  1. Pingback: Spicy Asian Style Salad Dressing | Sharing The Food We Love

  2. Dolly Rubiano
    January 5, 2014

    I love everything about it except for draining off the dressing which I’m sure was fantastic. Fish sauce, sugar, sesame oil, lime juice. Wow! I have zucchinis and some fresh harvests from the garden. I will try this dressing!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 5, 2014

      Happy New Year Dolly. It is a fabulously zingy dressing, but the saltiness of the fish sauce draws a lot of water out of the cucumber or zucchini if you prefer. The flavour of the dressing soaks into the cucumber/zucchini in the process and still makes quite an impact! Enjoy!

      • Dolly Rubiano
        January 6, 2014

        I made the dressing last night. Poured it over zucchini, blanched broccolini, kale and some fresh mint leaves. Fantastic! JD and I ‘drank’ the remaining dressing from our salad plates. Reminds me of the dressing I made for roasted brussel sprouts, where I used rice vinegar instead of lime juice.

      • ladyredspecs
        January 6, 2014

        So glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Saskia (1=2)
    January 5, 2014

    Ha! I can relate. I’ve been known to draw a picture next to items on the shopping list before letting the husband loose at the grocery store! Love the look of this cucumber salad though. Perfect for the current heatwave. Happy new year!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 5, 2014

      As you said, perfect for the 43C we endured yesterday!

  4. chef mimi
    January 5, 2014

    Hey! That’s me! I love the addition of the fish sauce!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 5, 2014

      Yes you! Changing the dressing totally changed the profile of the salad. I made it again last night, this time with regular mint, but it wasn’t as good. I’m planning to try dill next time. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Sounds light on the stomach but yummy on the taste buds

  6. saucygander
    January 4, 2014

    Haha, sounds like my husband, who will bravely eat anything I make, but can’t do the shopping or cooking….he does the dishes so it’s all good.
    This salad looks so refreshing, we are having a green mango salad today, very similar flavours!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 4, 2014

      Best flavours for a hot day! Gotta love love him for dishes duty alone!

  7. marymtf
    January 4, 2014

    My man knows his way around the kitchen but is a terrible cook. I don’t encourage it.

    • ladyredspecs
      January 4, 2014

      Happy New Year Mary! Hah, mine has no interest fortunately. His idea of cooking is taking me out for dinner!

  8. This looks really delicious and healthy!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 4, 2014

      It is fresh light and healthy! thanks for dropping by!

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