Cucumber salad with Chinese black vinegar

Neil Perry
Add a splash of chilli oil if you like your spice!
Add a splash of chilli oil if you like your spice! Photo: William Meppem

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.