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Noodles with Spicy Cucumbers

Mrs. Pai recommends using small, slender Persian cucumbers -- they are less watery and have much smaller seeds. Korean hot-pepper powder is a blend of roughly ground sweet and slightly spicy red pepper. Chile de arbol is a good substitute.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 50 mins
  • servings: 8
Photography: Jen Causey

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced Persian cucumbers (about 6 small cucumbers)
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Korean hot red-pepper powder (gochugaru), plus more to taste (asianfoodgrocer.com)
  • 2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (about 3 scallions)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
  • 5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown-rice vinegar (asianfoodgrocer.com) or rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 pound perciatelli or bucatini pasta
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Toss cucumbers with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and let sit 30 minutes. Transfer half the cucumbers to a clean dish towel. Fold the edges of the towel around cucumbers, and wring to remove excess liquid from cucumbers. Transfer to a large bowl. Wring out remaining cucumbers, and add to bowl.

  2. Step 2

    Add red-pepper powder, sugar, scallions, garlic, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, and the vinegar. Massage seasonings into cucumbers; let sit 10 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta until slightly beyond al dente (it should be very tender). Drain, and add to cucumbers. Toss to combine, then add remaining 3 tablespoons sesame oil and the soy sauce. Season with salt and red-pepper powder. Serve at room temperature.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, June 2012

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