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Ma La Suan Huang Gua (Hot and Sour Cucumber)

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“This recipe comes from 'Ji Pin Su Cai' (Best Vegetable Dishes), a 30-cent, 5-inch-square, paperback cookbook from Wal-Mart in China. It's simple home-style Chinese cooking. Chinese cookbooks assume you will know how much of each condiment and seasoning to add, so most of the ingredients are listed 'ge shi liang'--to taste. I've suggested amounts, but you can adjust according to your own preference.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 250 g cucumbers
  • 4 dried red chilies (to taste)
  • 14 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (to taste)
  • 14 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 14 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (to taste)


  1. Wash cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, slice 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal.
  2. Place sichuan peppercorns in heat-proof bowl. Thinly slice dried chilies.
  3. Heat empty wok over highest eat. Add 1 T oil and swirl. Add cucumbers and stir-fry. Add chilies, vinegar, salt, soy sauce, and chili flakes, tossing after each addition. Transfer to serving dish.
  4. Reheat the same wok, add 2nd T oil and heat. Turn off heat, pour oil over sichuan peppercorns to make flavored oil. Pour oil and peppercorns over cucumbers.
  5. Serve as part of a Chinese meal: rice, soup, and a balanced variety of dishes--one per person.

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