Ma means numbing, as in Szechwan peppercorns; “la” means spicy, as in hot peppers. The combination is a classic one in central Chinese cooking, where these crispy cucumber pickles claim their origin.
Slender, seedless Japanese cucumbers are ideal for their sweet taste and solid texture. Kirby pickling cucumbers or slender hydroponic or English cucumbers (scooped of their seeds if large) are good second choices.
© 1992 All rights reserved. Published by Workman Publishing.