If you are a lover of spicy Sichuan cuisine, this cucumber salad is for you.
One bite of this salad and your language will be electrified. You will be torn by the dilemma: take a good ice to extinguish the fire that burns in you or take a bite of this explosive dishes.
Congratulations and do not panic! You just get to know the Sichuan pepper …
Sichuan pepper (hua jiao) was used in Chinese cuisine well before black or white pepper was introduced by way of the spice route. They give off a tingly, fizzy feeling on the tongue and when used sparingly, are incomparably delicious. And addictive. The peppercorns, which grow on trees, turn dark pink in color and split open to reveal black, shiny seeds.
Your tongue will certainly pique but for a better respect the sacred principles of Chinese cooking, respect of yin and yang. The yin foods (such as cucumber) temper food while yang foods (such as Sichuan pepper) the warm up. The key is to find the right balance between the two.
In the case of interest here, the Sichuan pepper is opposed cucumber. And it makes sense when you know that cucumber is 95% water. The cucumber cools into effect the heat of Sichuan pepper. Every bite is a delicate balance of balance between fire and ice.
The cucumber salad is served in the large majority of Sichuan restaurants between courses to cleanse the palate. It may be ordered along with cold sesame noodles.
This dish is rather healthy for health. According to traditional Chinese medicine, cucumber is good for the intestines, reduces body fat, protects the skin. Sichuan pepper is, meanwhile, very rich in essential oils, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
While we are in the season for colds and other chills, this is the perfect time to stock up on vitamins.