Wednesday 9 January 2013

Cucumber! Not Just Rabbit Food - Stir-fried Cucumber With Dried Shrimps 炒虾米黄瓜

'Cooked cucumber? Wait a minute.....!'

 I can hear you exclaim and gasp in horror as you are reading the title. But let me reassure you, this taste much more appetising than it sounds.

Although more commonly use as a salad ingredient or as pickled, the humble cucumber, when cooked,  looses it's harsh raw crunchiness and transformed into these silky crispness. The flavours also intensified and develop an added depth.

My mum used to make this stir fry cucumber dish for our dinner and I have very fond memories of it. This is by no means the most sophisticated dish in the world but it is economical and extremely healthy. With it's high mineral and water content, cucumber is believe in the Chinese medicinal world to reduce 'high heat' (a.k.a. toxins) within your body and restore the yin-yang balance thus giving you youthful complexion. It also aids your body's fat burning process which in turn speed up weight loss, perfect for any new year dietary plan.

So before you reach for those insepid raw edition and munch on the mundane and boring salad, why not give this a go? With all the health benefits in mind and to top it all off, this is also surprisingly simple with few ingredient and will yield a delicious result. Perfect with a bowl of healthy steamed rice.


25g dried shrimps (hae bee)
1 whole cucumber, peeled and sliced diagonally
2 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
1/2 tsp sea salt


In a bowl, soak the shrimps in just enough boiling water to cover them for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid.

Heat the oil over high heat until smoking. Swirl it round to coat the wok. Ass the shrimps and stir fry for 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Throw in the cucumber and toss to mix with the now aromatic shrimps for about 1 minute. Turn down the heat to medium before adding the reserve soaking liquid. Season with salt, cover with a lid and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, until the cucumber is tender. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately. 

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