Cucumber noodles look like spinach linguine, but are made out of fresh cucumbers. Make cucumber noodles by slicing cucumbers into uniform strips with a mandolin slicer. Blanche and pan fry the cucumber noodles with lemon and a small pat of butter for a tasty and unusual dish. Serve cucumber noodles as a side dish paired with fish or white meat such as pork or chicken. Make it a vegetarian dish and serve the cucumber noodles with tofu and chilled soba noodles.
Things You'll Need
Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise with a paring knife. If there are any seeds, scoop them out of the center of the cucumbers with a spoon.
Adjust the blade of the mandolin slicer to a 1/8-inch size cut. Place the cucumber onto the mandolin, skin side facing you and white side facing down. Put on the hand-guard of the mandolin and cut the cucumber half into long 1/8-inch thick julienne strips. Stop cutting when you reach the skin. Turn the cucumber over and keep slicing and turning it. Stop slicing when there is nothing left but the skin of the cucumber.
Bring a 4-qt. pot of water to a boil. Add 1/2 tsp. salt. Place cold water and ice into a large bowl. Set the cucumber noodles into the water to start blanching them. Boil the noodles for one minute, then remove them and place them into the ice water and let them sit two minutes to quickly cool them off.
Remove the cucumber noodles from the ice water bath and set them on paper towel and pat them dry.
Place 2 tbsp. butter into a 10-inch frying pan. Heat the butter to melt it. Watch the butter; when it stops foaming or making white bubbles, add the cucumbers to the pan. Add 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper and 1/2 tsp. grated fresh lemon zest and juice to the frying pan. Toss the noodles in the pan with a spoon or a pair of tongs. Heat the noodles one minute, then place them on a plate and serve.
Make an Asian style dish by cooking the cucumber noodles with 2 tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. soy sauce and 1/4 tsp. grated ginger. Set the cucumber noodles on a plate and garnish with 1 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds.
References and ResourcesThe Kitchn; Cucumber Noodles; Faith Durand; July 2010
Gourmet; Cucumber Noodles; Paul Grimes; March 2007
Tuscon Community Supported Agriculture; Cucumber Noodles; Sara Jones; July 2007