Looking for a refreshing summer salad that will tingle your taste buds and impress your guests? The below recipe for Szechuan cucumber salad is so good, it could just change your life.
Those are strong words for a salad, but it’s true for Dr. Tom Lo and his friend, Chef Tom Lei, from whom this Szechuan cucumber salad comes.
See also: Weekly Recipe: Dan Dan Noodles by Hutong
The story goes that Dr. Lo was coming home to Queens, New York City, from a 20-hour shift and stopped in at the restaurant Spy C looking for good, comforting Chinese food. When he bit into this spicy salad, he asked to meet the chef.
A friendship was immediately born, as Dr. Lo once worked as a chef alongside such luminaries as Wylie Dufresne, Mark Ladner, Adam Leonti and Alex Lee. Word soon spread about Spy C and Chef Lei’s fabulous flavors, and today, Dr. Lo and Chef Lei are partners in business at Spy C and a second restaurant called Chi.
View this post on Instagram
Besides life-changing Szechuan cucumber salad, Spy C and Chi serve delicious hot and cold dishes, including poached chicken with chili sauce, deep fried tendon with caviar inspired by Wylie Dufresne, and mortar and pestle smashed eggplant and peppers; itself an homage to one of Dr. Tom’s childhood favorites.
Still, it’s this Szechuan cucumber salad that all made it happen, and the best friends are excited to share the dish with you, step-by-step below.
For those who have never tried Szechuan peppers before, be aware these classic Chinese spice additives bring their own unique tingly sensation. It’s different from any other spice you’ve enjoyed, and mixed with the refreshing brightness of cucumber, it is sure to linger and inspire.
Give this recipe a try for your next picnic gathering or warm summer eve, and see what it brings into your life!
Photography by: Courtesy of Chi