This simple salad is found all over China in varying forms. The secret is to keep it simple, and not to flavour it too strongly. Think of it as a palate cleanser, or as a super quick dish to add balance to a Chinese meal.
- 1 tbsp dried black fungus
- 3 Lebanese cucumbers
- 3 cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp black vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Cover the black fungus in ample hot water and stand for 10 minutes. Trim out the hard root of the fungus and set the "ears" aside.
- Peel the cucumbers in intervals. Place one cucumber on a cutting board and cover with a tea towel. Bash the cucumber with your hand or a rolling pin, then break the cucumber into 5 cm pieces by hand and transfer to a bowl. Repeat for the remaining cucumbers. Add the cherry tomatoes to the bowl and mix through the salt and sugar. Transfer to the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Add the black fungus, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and sesame oil and 1-2 tbsp of cold water to the cucumbers and stir to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.
- Don't try to flavour this too strongly. Adding a dash of water at the end balances the dish
- The dish is about cucumbers and black vinegar. If you don't want to add black fungus, garlic, sesame oil etc. just leave them out.
- This is a perfect dish for summer.