Spicy Cucumber Salad

-Peel, halve (the long way) and seed 2-4 cucumbers or 1 pound pickling cucumbers.

-Cut into ¼ inch slices and toss with 1 tsp sea salt.

-Set in a strainer or colander and let drain for 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.

-When the cucumbers have finished draining, transfer them to a salad bowl and set aside.

For the dressing: Toast 1 TBS sesame seeds over low heat until lightly browned.

-Whisk together 1 TBS soy sauce, 3 TBS rice vinegar, 1 tsp chili paste (or ½ tsp hot red pepper flakes), 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 TBS sugar, 3 TBS toasted sesame oil, ¼ bunch of chopped cilantro and the toasted sesame seeds.

-Add to the cucumbers and toss. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Japanese Style Cucumber Salad

-Cut 2 cucumbers or 4-5 pickles lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick ribbons using a mandoline or a manual slicer.

-Toss cucumber slices with several pinches of sea salt and let drain for 30 minutes in a colander over sink.

-Bring ¼ cup rice vinegar and 2 tsp sugar to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then cool to room temperature.

-Stir in ½ tsp soy sauce and ½ tsp toasted sesame oil.

-Toss cucumber with dressing and let stand 5 minutes before serving.