The weather has finally gotten warm around these parts after a very cold spring, and we're eating more summertime food now. This is one of our favorite salad-type dishes. The sesame dressing is very versatile, and you can use it for any manner of things, but here I've just used it with cucumber.
Tip: the longer you let it rest before serving, the saltier the cucumber will get, so if you want to serve it as a salad you'd want to combine the cucumber with the dressing just before serving. On the other hand, if you let it marinate in the refrigerator the cucumber becomes assertive enough to eat with plain rice as part of a Japanese meal.
A simple cucumber salad with a very versatile sesame dressing. I like this with a ton of toasted sesame seeds.
Type: Salad, Japanese, vegan (use seaweed based dashi granules)
Prep time: 10 min :: :: Total time: 10 min
Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Serving size: 1/2 to 1 cucumber
If you're using small Japanese cucumbers any other small, immature cucumber, you don’t need to de-seed them. Just cut them up and bash a bit. (This bashing thing, is a real cooking method in Japanese cooking. It helps the flavors to penetrate the bashed up vegetable better.)
If you use white balsamic vinegar instead of the rice or white wine vinegar, you can decrease or even omit the sugar.
Add some shredded poached chicken breast  to the cucumbers for a more substantial salad.
This sesame dressing is very versatile. Try it with any number of vegetables. It’s great on a leafy green salad. You can increase the sesame oil if you want it to have a richer sesame flavor. Add some chili pepper flakes to make it spicy, and/or some grated garlic for a more Korean-tasting twist.
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By Makiko Itoh
Published: June 24, 2013