Cucumber Salad with Soy and Ginger

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes, largely unattended

This is likely different from most cucumber salads you’ve ever tasted, but nondairy, easy, and delicious.

1 to 11/2 pounds (about 3 medium) cucumbers

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons rice vinegar, or white vinegar mixed with a little water

A 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

Fine sprigs fresh cilantro for garnish

01 If you’re using really good cucumbers, just slice them and proceed to Step 2. If you’re using conventional supermarket cucumbers, peel them, cut in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice, salt, and put in a colander; let drain (over a bowl or in the sink) for 10 to 20 minutes. Rinse, drain, and spin or pat dry. (If you want super-crunchy cucumbers, wring dry in a towel.)

02 Toss the cucumbers with the salt (if you haven’t salted them already), pepper, vinegar, ginger, sugar, and soy sauce, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish and serve.

Variation

Cucumber Salad, Korean Style. Like most Korean food, quite strong: Add 1/2 teaspoon or more minced fresh chile (like serrano, jalapeГ±o, or Thai) and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Along with the cilantro, garnish with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.