Smashed Cucumber Salad - Summer Recipe

 Prep Time: 10 mins  | Cook Time: 5 mins  |  Total Time: 15 mins

Quick | Easy | Dairy-Free | Nut-Free | Vegetarian | Vegan |

This delicious, refreshing salad is the perfect summer recipe and only takes 5 minutes to prepare. The ingredients are simple, and yet this salad is packed with flavour and is full of health benefits. This Yin salad is perfect for summer - the most Yang season of the year. In Chinese Medicine, cucumbers are loaded with medicinal benefits - they build Yin, are hydrating and are beneficial for many health conditions.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 small bunch coriander - cut into 1-inch pieces, saving some for garnish
  • ¼ red bell pepper - shredded
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp chili oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic - grated

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel the cucumbers and cut the ends off. Cut the cucumbers down the center lengthwise into 3-4 pieces.
  2. Place cucumber pieces into a ziplock bag and smash (gently) with a rolling pin or another heavy object. Remove from bag and cut into bite-sized pieces. Put all into a large bowl.
  3. Sprinkle cucumber with salt, mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. Then discard the liquid.
  4. Add coriander, shredded bell pepper and the rest of the ingredients. Still well, garnish with a bit of coriander and enjoy!

TIP

If you want to increase the fibre content of this salad, then leave the skins on the cucumbers. Just be sure to wash them well first. Depending on where they come from, cucumber skins can be covered in wax or have harmful pesticides, so be sure to wash them thoroughly if you are going to leave the peels on.

CHINESE MEDICINE HEALTH BENEFITS

In Chinese Medicine cucumbers have a huge number of healing properties. They are particularly good for soothing any skin swellings or irritations because of their high content of silica, vitamin C and caffeic acid which are important components of connective tissue. Cucumbers also quench thirst, calm irritability, combat edema as well as treat jaundice, diarrhea and even epilepsy. A slice of cucumber is able to take the sting out of a bug bite, and cucumber juice is an excellent prescription for glowing healthy skin because of its high water content, and its ability to hydrate skin - the body’s largest organ. This is one of the reasons why in Chinese Medicine, food IS medicine. :)

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Delicious featured image from The Splendid Table.org


Chinese Water Chestnut

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

When I was growing up, Chinese water chestnut was one of the most popular street foods sold by food vendors. They are white in colour after the skin is peeled and sold strung together on a long stick. Most people and children like water chestnut during the hot summer because they are juicy, crunchy and very refreshing to eat and they have a delicate flavour and are mildly sweet in taste. It is best to eat them after being peeled and chilled in water (to prevent turning brown) in the fridge. It is definitely a much healthier alternative than other snacks such as lollypops or ice cream cones.

water chestnut healing properties

Chinese water chestnut is widely used in oriental cuisines. They can be sliced thinly to add to salads, stir-frys, vegetarian/meat stews or desserts. They can also be finely chopped and added to meat balls or stuffing to give it a softer texture and some crunchiness. Water chestnuts are ground into powder to make pudding, a popular dessert for dim sum lunch. The powder can also be used as thickener to add to soups, desserts, and sauces and glazes to give them a transparent look.

The healthful effects of water chestnut known to Chinese medicine are that they are cold in nature, sweet in taste and act on lungs and stomach. Water chestnuts can clear heat, relieve indigestion, promote urination, relieve hypertension, cure sore throat and hemorrhoids, stop coughing and clear phlegm. They are also effective in helping children to relieve skin rashes when having measles. Nowadays, water chestnut is found to be good for people wishing to lose weight because it has almost zero fat, releases water retention and is high in potassium. It is also used as a beauty food to promote better skin.

The following recipe is a common spring/summer drink for households with children. Modern children are eating too many highly processed foods such as chips, French fries, biscuits and baked goods which are causing their internal body systems to have too much heat. The symptoms of overheating are indigestion, lack of appetite, constipation or difficulties in passing stools, skin rashes or acne eruptions. Together with the immense summer heat, foods with cooling properties are necessary to balance out the system and not become sick. This recipe can help to soothe and rebalance the internal condition and can be taken regularly without restrictions. For parents who want their children to maintain good health throughout the summer, keeping the drink handy in the fridge instead of soft drinks is the best approach. And children will love it too because it is sweet in taste and very refreshing, and they will feel good after drinking it.

water chestnut recipe

You can easily find sugar cane already cut into short sections and conveniently packaged with the fresh Imperatae root available for sale in the vegetable section of most Chinese super markets. If the fresh root is not available, you can just do without it. The root is for getting extra cooling and detoxifying effects.

Please search our website www.nourishu.com for other delicious recipes using water chestnut.

Sugar Cane & Water Chestnut Drink

SYMPTOMS:

Skin rashes or measles.

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

This recipe is for reducing internal heat and can help to alleviate pain during a measles outbreak. It can also be used regularly to detoxify the spleen, prevent rashes and for clearing internal heat during the spring and summer seasons.

INGREDIENTS

  • Fresh/Dried Rhizoma Imperatae 鮮茅根 – 60 gram (optional)
  • Carrot – 450 gram
  • Water chestnut – 300 gram
  • Sugar cane  – 500 gram

1.   Chop sugar cane into smaller pieces. Cut carrots into thin slices. Wash water chestnuts.  You can either keep or remove the skin as you wish and crush them open with the back of a knife. Rinse the fresh root.

2.   Put all ingredients in a big soup pot half full of water (about 3 liters) and cook over medium heat for one and a half hours until about 6 cups of water are left.

3.   Strain and drink tea. The water chestnut can also be eaten if desired.

water chestnut and sugar cane drink

USAGE

Can be drunk regularly for the whole family.

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