Making some gyoza and bao buns and decided we needed some pickled cucumber. Here is a very simple way of doing just that and adding a very tangy fresh taste. I buy proper cucumbers from the farmers’ market as they have much less water. Takes seconds to make! I used the mandolin for the cucumber.
■ 150ml apple cider vinegar
■ 100ml water
■ 2 tbsp demerara sugar
■ ½ tsp fennel seeds
■ 1 tbsp sea salt
■ 300g cucumber
■ Pinch of chilli flakes
1. In a pan over a gentle heat, place the vinegar, water, sugar, fennel and black peppercorns. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
2. Use a potato peeler to make long lengths of cucumber ribbons, avoiding the seed pulp. Put the ribbons in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix well, then allow to sit for 15 minutes (this helps draw out water). Wash the ribbons in cold water, squeeze out excess water and place in a clean bowl.
3. Pour the cooled, spiced vinegar over the cucumber and sprinkle with chilli flakes if liked. The pickle is ready to use immediately.