Rolling Cucumber on Chopping Board

Posted on Aug 17, 2017 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Did you watch my hands rolling cucumbers on Instagram scant video? Instagram: hirokoshimbo

Technique tip: Don’t roll your eyes; let’s roll cucumber! Cucumber has rather thick skin whose taste is a sort of ‘too green’ and rather unpleasant. This is why, I think, I see most cucumbers served in America are peeled in prepared dishes. In order to tackle this problems this is what we do in Japan.

Sprinkle some sea salt over the cucumber and with both of your hands, roll them vigorously on a chopping board until you find your palm is covered with a bit of grainy, green liquid. Then, rinse the cucumber under cold tap water.

The process offers 3 benefits;

  • By damaging the surface of the skin, it becomes tender. This means that when you dress cucumber with sauce or dressing, they adhere to the surface of the skin much better than the one that is not rolled
  • Removes the ‘too green’ and rather unpleasant flavor from the skin
  • Make the green color of the skin even greener and more attractive

After treating the cucumber with this technique, I slice it, toss the slices with 2% salt by the weight of the cucumber, massage them gently and leave them 10 minutes. Briefly rinse them with fresh running tap water. Drain and squeeze water out of cucumber. I then flavor them with a little bit of vinegar, maple syrup, sea salt and chile pepper powder. Add a dash of sesame oil if you have it. A quick, cooling, refreshing cucumber salad is a wonderful addition to any meal.

Hiroko Shimbo