spicy cucumber salad (麻辣黄瓜—málà huángguā)

Sichuan peppercorns and chilies give this dish a distinct numbing-spicy(麻辣) flavor characteristic of southwest China and its border regions in Myanmar and northern Thailand.

Spicy and zesty, yet very much cooling, this dish offers quick refreshment on a hot day. Simply blend spices and toss with cucumber and sesame.

Inspired by chickpea “noodle”(雞豆涼粉) dishes of Yunnan China and Burmese tofu salad(တိုဖူးသုပ်‌) of Myanmar, this recipe focuses on cucumber instead of jelly tofu noodles. For a Burmese touch, add chickpea powder or serve with Shan tofu.


(serves 2)

1 clove garlic
2 dried red chili or bird’s eye chili
12 sichuan peppercorn
1 tbsp jaggery or honey
2 cucumber, sliced into strips
1 lemon juice
1/4 cup sesame paste or toasted sesame seeds
4 stem coriander(optional)

• pound garlic, chili, sichuan peppercorn, salt, honey, lemon juice
• add cucumber, sesame paste, coriander
• serve