This delicious, cooling salad with a sweet edge helps to counter the chili in very spicy dishes (if you find them a little too hot to handle). But if you love your chilli, a dash of chilli oil works well with this salad. I like to add roasted peanuts to it as well.
4 Lebanese cucumbers
100g castor sugar
100ml Chinese black vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp Chinese light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1cm piece ginger, finely chopped
handful fresh black fungi, torn into small pieces
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1. Cut cucumber in half lengthways then, using a teaspoon, scrape out the seeds. Cut them into large, angled chunks.
2. In a bowl, dissolve castor sugar in the black vinegar and soy sauce then whisk in oil, garlic and ginger. Check seasoning. Dress the cucumber and black fungi, coating well.
3. Serve on a shared plate and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serve with Neil Perry's cinnamon and chilli braised beef.