Simple Beijing-Style Marinated Cucumber Salad

My good friend, Lillian Robyn, is originally from Beijing. Now married to an American and living in America, she still cooks in the Beijing style. A meal in her home is always a special treat for me. I have enjoyed this refreshing salad at her home many times. It can be prepared hours ahead and is thus perfect for multicourse meals or simply by itself with hot rice.


  • 750 g ( lb) cucumbers
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chilli bean sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chilli oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


Cut the unpeeled cucumbers into 2.5-cm (1-in) slices, sprinkle with salt and put them into a colander to drain for 20 minutes. Squeeze the cucumber slices in a linen tea towel to remove any moisture. Blot them dry with kitchen paper.

In a small bowl, mix the chilli bean sauce, soy sauce, sugar, chilli oil and sesame oil. Toss the cucumber slices in this sauce and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Drain off any excess moisture before serving.