Wow – this post was a hard one to get written. For one, a three-day trip to Chicago morphed into four due to terrible weather that delayed my flight right into the next day. No good! And, as I was trying to dash off my post, my cats refused to leave me alone. Pesty little creatures! For the first matter of business, the lovely Corinne of A Gourmet Love Affair really made my day after all this stress. How? By telling me that I made hers:
Chinese Hot Pickle Sandwiches
I’ll admit – this idea didn’t just spring forth from my mind with no precedent. It was prompted by a comment on a recipe for Chinese mixed pickle that I read several weeks ago. A guy commented that he liked to eat the pickle on a sandwich with peanut butter. Well, I can’t just let a good idea like that get lost in the shuffle. With the abundance of cucumbers growing in my backyard, every good idea for eating one gets a fair chance. And let me tell you: these sandwiches are delicious. One half is wonderfully filling when served with a tasty side. If you can exercise the restraint, let the pickle marinate overnight. Or, make a giant batch as a tasty appetizer or finger food with some other Asian-themed dishes, then make sandwiches the next day from the leftovers. The longer the pickle sits, the more flavor it takes on. Just make sure to use a coarse salt to draw the water from the cucumbers; table salt and finer-grained salts will absorb too easily into the cucumber and make it taste overly salty.
Hot Chinese Pickle Sandwiches
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 T peanut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1″ knob ginger, chopped
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 T honey
- 3 T rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp sambal oelek (hot chili paste)
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- sesame seeds
- crunchy peanut butter
- whole wheat pita
Halve and seed the cucumber. If the cucumber is particularly large, you may want to quarter it before slicing it about 1/4 inch thick. Place the cucumber slices in a colander, and sprinkle the salt over it. Let it rest for about 15 minutes to draw out water and firm up the cucumber slices. Stir together the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, rice vinegar, and sambal oelek. Heat the peanut oil over medium high heat, and lightly fry the garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper – about 3-4 minutes – but not so that it takes on color. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the cucumber, onion, and red bell pepper. Then pour the soy sauce mixture over the veggies, and stir well to coat. Pour everything into a gallon storage bag and refrigerate for at least one hour, but up to 2 days. When ready to use the pickle for sandwiches, cut pita in half (this recipe will fill 1 pita split in half nicely). Spread about a tablespoon of peanut butter in each half of the pita, then fill with the pickle. Add some cilantro and toasted sesame seeds to the sandwiches and serve.
Makes 2 fat sandwiches with some leftover.
And now, on to more fun stuff:
1. Meedo and Zainab at Arabic Bites for their super tasty recipes.
2. Jenn The Left Over Queen for her inventive recipes and wonderful contributions to the community with her Foodie Blogroll
4. Jenny at The Nourished Kitchen for her health and budget-conscious recipes that never compromise taste or quality.
5. Julie at Peanut Butter and Julie for her carefree gourmet and sunny disposition!