I have never cooked cucumbers before! The cucumber slices in this stir-fry were quickly sautéed until just crisp tender- great. I also loved the seasonings in the finished dish.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Christina Chaey. I used my largest skillet (14-inch) but would use a 12-inch next time. I don’t have a 14-inch splatter screen and I made quite a mess. It was worth it.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
- 1 large English/European cucumber, peeled in alternating lengthwise strips, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, halves sliced crosswise on a diagonal 1/2-inch thick (I used a melon baller to remove the seeds)
- 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt (or 1 tsp Diamond Crystal), plus more
- 2 T oyster sauce
- 2 T soy sauce (I used Trader Joe’s light soy sauce)
- 2 T Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or medium-dry sherry (I used dry sherry)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 T grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 Fresno chile, halved, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 one-inch piece ginger root, peeled, finely grated
- 2 to 4 large garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground white or black pepper
- white rice, for serving (I used white Basmati rice)
- minced cilantro, for garnish, optional
- Toss cucumber slices and kosher salt in a medium bowl to coat evenly. Let sit until cucumber slices start to release their liquid, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sherry (or Shaoxing wine) in a small bowl to combine; set aside.
- Using your hands, form pork into six small patties. Season lightly with salt; set aside.
- Drain cucumber slices in a colander and rinse well under cool running water. Drain, shaking off any excess water, then pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet (12-inch) over medium-high. Cook cucumber slices, tossing vigorously, until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.
- Wipe out skillet and heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high.
- Add reserved pork patties; gently flatten with a spatula. Cook, pressing occasionally to help meat make contact with pan, until deeply browned and crisp underneath, about 4 minutes.
- Flip patties; cook until other side is deeply browned and crisp, about 4 minutes.
- Break up pork into large pieces; continue to cook until no longer pink, about 1 minute.
- Add chile, ginger, garlic, and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add cucumber back to skillet along with reserved sauce. Cook, tossing often, until sauce is reduced and evenly coats pork and cucumber slices, about 1 minute.
- Serve stir-fry over rice. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.