Spicy Cucumber Salad

 

This summer I got to visit Seoul for the first time. I was able to try so many different and new types of food and experience such an interesting and vibrant culture which has an unrivaled nightlife. One of my favorite places was actually a pizza joint and local brewery that served an amazing salad. It was so good and so unique I went back twice in the same week so I could have it again before I left. It was cold and spicy, crunchy and creamy, salty and tangy all at once, with a surprising little kick of mint leaves at the end.

It’s not everyday I get to go to Korea, and since it might be long time since I can go back, I wanted to make this at home so I could enjoy it and think about my fun memories of Seoul. And if you do get a chance to visit, make sure to try this dish at the OG spot: Magpie Brewing in Yongsan. Because this recipe is only a semi-close, but still very tasty, mock version of the real deal. The bar is super friendly, very low key, and in a pretty fun little neighborhood. And if you like an adult beverage, the Wakini Bar is super friendly, just make sure to ask for no straw with your drink.

The dressing and the spicy peanuts are the defining elements in this salad. For the dressing, you can easily make your own, or if you can find green goddess dressing in glass, just blend in 1/2 avocado to make it extra creamy. Of course this is totally optional, but I think it really gives the dressing more depth.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 10.10.32 PM

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup spicy peanuts (Recipe below)
  • 1 -2 tablespoons Avocado Green Goddess dressing (make your own with this recipe, or blend 1/2 avocado per 3/4 cup of regular green goddess dressing, available in glass containers)
  • 1 cucumber
  • mint (optional) torn into pieces

Directions:

  • Cut the cucumbers into bite size pieces. I slice it in half lengthwise, then in half again, then dice the strips into half inch segments.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 10.05.14 PM.png

  • Coat the cucumbers in the green goddess dressing, you can add more as needed to coat, but its quite flavorful so I think a little goes a long way.
  • Briefly mix in the spicy peanuts, no need to over mix.
  • Tear the mint (optional) into pieces and sprinkle over top.

Serve immediately or seal in container in fridge for up for 1-2 days.

**If you can’t do peanuts, you can probably swap out for macadamia nuts but I haven’t tried this personally.

 

Spicy Peanuts Recipe:

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 10.09.58 PM

The key ingredient here, of course, are peanuts, which I can always find in bulk in just about any bulk food aisle. For one pound (16 oz) of bulk dry roasted, unsalted, organic peanuts I paid $4.99, which is 0.31 cents per ounce. for 10 ounces of the packaged unsalted, roasted organic peanuts, I would have to pay  ($0.47 / Ounce), which is a 52% increase!

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 4.57.57 PM

For this recipe, you’ll only need 1/2 cup of peanuts, which are this point are very bland, so we will need to spice them up. Pour the peanuts into a bowl and coat them with 1/2 tablespoon of oil, I had peanut oil so I used that, but really any cooking oil will work. Once coated evenly, sprinkle on a good pinch of salt and the spices of your choice. Since this recipe was inspired by a Korean establishment, I decided to try Gochugaru spice which I couldn’t find in bulk, so I bought it in a pretty decent sized glass container I can reuse. If you can’t find this spice, just go with whatever you have. I would probably avoid any smokey spices though as it might overpower the other flavors in the salad.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 10.09.46 PM

Since this Gochugaru wasn’t initial very spicy, though it does have sort of a delayed kick to it, I added 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne, but this is totally optional depending on how spicy you like it. I like it fairly spicy. Mix the peanuts until coated evenly with the salt and spices and set aside.Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup peanuts (bulk, unsalted, roasted)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons Gochugaru seasoning (or other non-smokey spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Cayenne (optional)

Directions:

  1. Coat peanuts in oil.
  2. Toss in salt and spices, mix until evenly coated.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s