Stirfried Cucumbers

Sounds odd, I know – how often do we eat cucumbers hot? But I discovered that stirfrying is a great way to use cucumbers that are just a bit too big, a bit too tough-skinned for those cool summer salads. (As a woman told me at the farmers’ market, as I carefully chose the perfect green beans and she shoveled handfuls into a bag, “The ugly ones need love, too!”)


  • 3 small cucumbers, about 12 oz total
  • 1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1 T oil
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tsp vinegar, rice wine or apple cider work best
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  1. If the cucumber peels are really tough, peel them or score with the tines of a fork. Cut the cucumber in 1/2 lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, then cut on the diagonal into elongated crescents.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp salt, and allow the cucumber to drain in a sieve for 20 m, then pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Combine the wine, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat a wok over medium high heat, then add the oil, just until it shimmers.
  5. Add the cucumbers, stirfrying for approximately 1 m.
  6. Add the sauce ingredients and stirfry quickly to coat the cucumbers and dissolve the sugar.
  7. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

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