Korean stir-fried cucumbers

Stir-fried cucumbers with hamburger

I’ve only made one other cooked cucumber recipe (although I may have stuck some in a biryani or something, once), and that recipe definitely proved that cooked cucumbers are edible (and delicious), but it was kind of a lot of work if you’re trying to use up a lot of cucumbers…

So, Google helped me find a few recipes for stir fried cucumber, and I decided to give this one a shot.  And it was a success!

I was a little skeptical initially, especially since some of the cucumbers I was using were a little large, but they worked just fine.  And it’s even good as leftovers several days later.  I was worried that the cucumbers would get kind of slimy and gross, but they’re still crunchy and delicious a few days in.

So, without further ado, here it goes —

Ingredients:

  • 4-8 cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon of salt for each cucumber
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 6 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash and thinly slice the cucumbers.  (It’s best if they don’t have huge seeds, but they don’t have to be super-young, either).
  2. Put the sliced cucumbers in a bowl, and after you add each cucumber, spring on 1 teaspoon of salt.  Stir to evenly coat cucumbers with salt.
  3. While the cucumbers are marinating in the salt, combine the ground beef and the seasonings.  (My beef was already cooked, so I just stirred the rest of the ingredients in and heated it up together, but you could certainly the hamburger with the seasonings instead.)  Turn off the heat and set the beef aside.
  4. Squeeze the excess water from the cucumbers, and drain any water from the bottom of the bowl.  I just used my hands for the squeezing, but you could use a tea towel or cheese cloth instead.
  5. Add the cucumbers to the pan with the beef and stir fry for about 2 minutes, or until they are heated through and just lightly cooked.  You don’t want them to get slimy and gross!
  6. Serve over rice.
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