This Japanese salad is delicious in its own right, but even better with poached prawns or dressed crab. Rice vinegar and sansho, Japanese aromatic pepper, are now sold in good supermarkets.
Put the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan and toast over a low heat, stirring until golden and aromatic. Reserve.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half in half through the middle and shave into long, wafer-thin strips on a mandolin, piling them into a bowl.
Peel the ginger and grate it into the bowl. Add the sesame seeds, vinegar, sesame oil, spring onions, sugar, salt and sansho pepper. Toss to coat well and chill for 30 minutes before serving.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.