Cucumber Noodle Salad

This is a simple vegetarian starter, ideal for warm weather meals. The bean thread noodles have a satiny smooth texture and their light flavour goes well with cucumbers, dressed in a piquant hot and sour sauce.


  • 100 g (4 oz) bean thread (transparent) noodles
  • 225 g (8 oz) cucumbers


  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese white rice
  • vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chilli oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil, preferably groundnut
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions


Soak the noodles in a large bowl of very hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and immerse them in cold water, then drain thoroughly in a colander. Cut the noodles into 7.5 cm (3 in) lengths, using scissors or a knife.

Peel the cucumbers, slice them in half lengthways and, using a teaspoon, remove the seeds. Cut the cucumber halves into 7.5 cm (3 in) lengths, 5 mm (ΒΌ in) thick.

In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients, then add the cucumbers and noodles. Mix thoroughly. Turn the salad onto a serving platter and serve immediately or within 3 hours.