Cucumber noodles look like spinach linguine, but are made out of fresh cucumbers. Make cucumber noodles by slicing cucumbers into uniform strips with a mandolin slicer. Blanche and pan fry the cucumber noodles with lemon and a small pat of butter for a tasty and unusual dish. Serve cucumber noodles as a side dish paired with fish or white meat such as pork or chicken. Make it a vegetarian dish and serve the cucumber noodles with tofu and chilled soba noodles.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 3 seedless cucumbers
- Paring knife
- Adjustable-blade slicer or mandolin with 1/4-inch julienne blade and hand-guard
- 4-qt. pot
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Large bowl
- Paper towel
- 2 tbsp butter
- 10-inch frying pan
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Spoon or tongs
Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise with a paring knife. If there are any seeds, scoop them out of the centre of the cucumbers with a spoon.
Adjust the blade of the mandolin slicer to a 1/8-inch size cut. Place the cucumber onto the mandolin, skin side facing you and white side facing down. Put on the hand-guard of the mandolin and cut the cucumber half into long 1/8-inch thick julienne strips. Stop cutting when you reach the skin. Turn the cucumber over and keep slicing and turning it. Stop slicing when there is nothing left but the skin of the cucumber.
Bring a 4-qt. pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt. Place cold water and ice into a large bowl. Set the cucumber noodles into the water to start blanching them. Boil the noodles for one minute, then remove them and place them into the ice water and let them sit two minutes to quickly cool them off.
Remove the cucumber noodles from the ice water bath and set them on paper towel and pat them dry.
Place 2 tbsp butter into a 10-inch frying pan. Heat the butter to melt it. Watch the butter; when it stops foaming or making white bubbles, add the cucumbers to the pan. Add 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon zest and juice to the frying pan. Toss the noodles in the pan with a spoon or a pair of tongs. Heat the noodles one minute, then place them on a plate and serve.
Tips and warnings
- Make an Asian style dish by cooking the cucumber noodles with 2 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp soy sauce and 1/4 tsp grated ginger. Set the cucumber noodles on a plate and garnish with 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds.
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