Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thai Style Cucumber Salad

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(4 servings)

Who could pass up an 80 cent English cucumber? I couldn't. I grabbed two of them although they weren't on my shopping list. The label mentioned "pesticide-free" which I had to google when I returned home because I found that description rather confusing. Why pesticide-free and not organic?

Turns out pesticide-free is often a vague term indicating no pesticide residue was detected, although it might contain "natural" pesticides or pesticides "below" the "normal" detection limits.

Generally it indicates it has "more residues than organic food, but less than conventionally grown food."

2 medium English cucumbers
1/2 cup rice vinegar*
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hot sauce, or more to taste
2 pinches ground coriander seed
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

*If you use "seasoned" rice vinegar, check the label before adding the sugar because often it already contains some form of sweetener.

Wash and slice the cucumbers as thin as you can into a non reactive bowl.

Combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, hot sauce, coriander seeds and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour this over the cucumbers. Toss until well combined, then set aside for about 10-15 minutes. You can leave it even longer if you wish.

Divide among salad bowls and garnish with the chopped peanuts.


Anonymous said...

Organic refers to more than just a lack of pesticide use. True organic farming practice also involves different kinds of soil treatments and crop rotation, among other things.

Anonymous said...

Pesticide free might be how the farm is labeling their produce if they don't have sufficient income to get an organic certification. Organic certification costs thousands of dollars.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Yes, you are so right, approved production methods play a large role in whether or not something can be labelled organic.

This cucumber had me looking more closely at other labels as well. Made with organic ingredients vs organic vs 100% organic... grass-fed, cage-free, natural, all-natural... it all gets very confusing.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

That's an interesting point, Greenbasket. I hadn't even considered the cost of trying to have something certified "organic".

MyFudo™ said...

A refreshing and healthy salad is what I need after all the Christmas grease and sugar high...Does it have to be sliced this thin? I want the cucumber sliced a bit thicker, I hope it will taste just as good. Thanks for sharing.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

You can slice it thicker. It just marinates quicker when it's that thin. :)

JuliaBee said...

To be labeled organic the product also must to be non-genetically modified. The cucumbers may be grown without inorganic inputs but may have been bought from a large, mainstream supplier specializing in modified seeds.

Anonymous said...

Based on the picture I thought that they meant you were being given free pesticides, certified of course.

Anonymous said...

the term organic gets too much weight. many farmers choose not to pay the 2+thousands of dollars a year to get certified because they can't afford it, but also many farmers don't believe in organic as a certification because they believe the standards have been watered down from the word's original meaning.
Farmers used to sometimes put "organically grown but not certified" but then they were banned from even using the word organic if they weren't certified. the word has been co-opted by the USDA. The best rule of thumb is to know your farmer.

Vicky said...

Sounds so good. I love the combination of all those ingredients!

Carole said...

Looks nice. You might be interested in this post I did on Thai fish sauce.

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