Cucumbers are one of those few vegetables that you just don’t cook, until now. My grandma makes this with shrimp usually and it tastes absolutely amazing! The key is to actually buy the proper cucumbers and prepare them the right way.
There are several types of cucumbers out there but what we want to use are the kind with a thicker skin which often are bumpy on their skin and are much fatter than a Persian cucumber. I think they are called garden cucumbers but honestly nothing in the super market is labeled right so just make sure to steer clear of the English and Persian cucumber/pickle. If you choose the wrong type of cucumber then you’ll get a goopy watery mess that does not taste nor look appealing.
For the shrimp flavoring i again lightly toasted some dried baby shrimp in some oil and with a touch of chicken broth the dish is just made! Of course for textural purposes you always want to add a generous helping of a water+starch mixture to thicken things up a bit, which is of course trademark of both Chinese and my grandmother’s cooking.
I added in just a small handful of cauliflower, snap peas, and about 1/2 of a carrot to give some nice color. In Chinese culture we like to mix up both texture, flavor and color in our dishes. This is also another reason why I halved the mushrooms to add some meaty texture.
I of course also made this recipe just because I was feeling a little bit different and creative, ready to try something new and unusual. Lately I’ve been so busy that I haven’t even had time to cook much which is so sad since it actually helps me to de-stress. Oh… the joys of the week.
Again, there’s nothing like grandma’s cooking which I try and replicate as often as I can as it is just so yummy! Who can argue with the sweetness of a recipe passed down.
- 4 garden cucumbers, peeled and quartered, and chopped
- 1 tbsp. dried baby shrimp
- 1/4 cup cauliflower florets, blanched
- 1/4 cup snap peas, halved
- 1/2 carrot cut into matchsticks, blanched
- 2 cups brown cremini mushrooms, halved
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 tsp. starch+ equal parts water
- 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- olive oil
- heat some oil in a pan and then once hot, add in the dried shrimp, and stir for about 1 minute
- add in the carrot and cauliflower and stir for another minute and then cook covered another minute.
- Add in the snap peas, stir for a few moments, then add in the cucumbers, chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, and mushrooms and cook covered another 5-7 minutes or until the cucumbers become tender.
- Add salt to taste and then the starch mixture, stir, allowing it too cook uncovered for another minute or two until it thickens.
- Serve hot and enjoy!