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Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (Suan Mi Pau Huang Gua)

Smacked Cucumber In Garlicky Sauce

Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce.  蒜米爆黄瓜

Sounds oddly cruel to smack a cucumber a few times before slicing it into a dozen pieces, but give it a try.  It’s a method in Chinese cooking to bruise the veggie to soften it up, allowing it to mix well with the sauce.

asian cucumbers
ingredients for chinese cucumber recipe

This recipe for Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce – a Sichuanese appetizer commonly found in Chinese restaurants – was brought to our attention by Jean J., one of our most creative customers in the kitchen. 

With her usual contagious excitement – and possibly surrounded at the time by one too many cucumbers from the garden ready to be smacked – Jean left us this message: 

“Season with Spice to the rescue tonight!  I was craving a recipe that asked for chili oil (Fuchsia Dunlop's, Smacked Cucumbers in Garlicky Sauce).  I lined up all my Season with Spice bottles and began to play.  I used a dozen Korean Chili Threads and a generous pinch of ground Bird's Eye Chili powder. Perfect ~ Delicious ~ I may not ever make the recipe as originally written! :)”

Fresh Figs with Feta, Honey, and Aleppo Chili Flakes

Fresh Figs with Feta, Honey, and Aleppo Chili Flakes by SeasonWithSpice.com

With fresh California figs popping up at grocery stores around the country right now, it’s a great time to invite a few friends over, open up a bottle of wine, and enjoy a simple, yet elegant appetizer of Fresh Figs with Feta, Honey, and Aleppo Chili Flakes.

fresh figs
Fresh Figs with Feta, Honey, and Aleppo Chili Flakes by SeasonWithSpice.com

Sweet figs, with their refreshingly crunchy seeds, match well with salty, crumbly feta.  To add some zing and color, I also like to sprinkle on some savory Aleppo Chili Flakes.  The vinegary, salty notes of the chili flakes complement the delicious combination of fruit and cheese.

Thai Grilled Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Thai Grilled Fish Taco with Mango Salsa by SeasonWithSpice.com

Thai Taco.

Has a nice ring to it.  Thai Taco.   It’s the sound of the delicious marrying of Thai & Mexican cuisines. The fresh veggies and herbs; the citrusy flavors; the combination of the perfect blend of spices.

Thai BBQ Seasoning available at SeasonWithSpice.com
tilapia seasoned with thai bbq seasoning

grilled fish with thai bbq seasoning

One of the most popular blends in our store over the weekend was our Thai BBQ Seasoning.  The aroma – a mix of cumin, coriander, lemongrass, garlic, pepper, smoked serrano chili powder, and a few other spices – had our customers immediately asking how best to use it this week for dinner.

That was an easy answer – Thai Grilled Fish Taco with Mango Salsa.

7 Garden-Fresh Veggie Recipes

Grilled Corn with Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt and Smoked Serrano Chili powder by SeasonWithSpice.com

Whether you’re harvesting the garden, receiving a weekly CSA box, or visiting a local farmer’s market, you probably have a refrigerator stuffed right now with leafy greens, cabbage, cucumbers, and corn-on-the-cob. And maybe a designated countertop for a pile of juicy red, tomatoes.

garden tomatoes

To help you cook up all those fresh veggies, here are a few tasty, healthy recipes to get you started:

Bok Choy Stir Fry with Miso Dressing by SeasonWithSpice.com

2.  Bok Choy Stir-Fry with Zesty Miso Dressing & Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning

Korean Stir-fried Udon Noodles

Stir-Fried Korean Udon Noodles by SeasonWithSpice.com

Since many of you have been stocking up your kitchen this summer with our Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning, I wanted to share a couple more recipes using the blend – one deliciously fried chicken recipe and one easy, veggie noodle recipe.

The first recipe – Spicy Korean Fried Chicken – was a recent creation by Stephanie Le of i am a food blog, the winner of Saveur’s 2014 Blog of the Year.  Check out the pictures on her site and you’ll be craving fried chicken for dinner tonight!  Stephanie used our Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning for the fried chicken and in the Spicy Ranch Dressing for dipping.

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken by iamafoodblog
Image courtesy of Stephanie Le

Pizza Party!

Pizza with Aleppo & Urfa Chili Flakes by SeasonWithSpice.com

Pizza toppings are endless, but when it comes to seasonings, you’re usually limited to oregano, parmesan, and chili flakes.  Red chili flakes.  

Red chili flakes add some heat and a bit of flavor, but too much familiarity on your taste buds.  

At your next pizza party – birthdays, BBQs, and for the upcoming football season – surprise your guests with a few different chili flakes to try like Chipotle Chili Flakes, Urfa Chili Flakes, and Aleppo Chili Flakes.

Aleppo Chili Flakes, Chipotle Chili Flakes & Urfa Chili Flakes available at SeasonWithSpice.com

Spicy, smoky, and intensely appetizing, our Chipotle Chili Flakes have become the standard pizza seasoning in our house. The aroma alone will make your stomach growl.

It’s perfect for transforming a simple pizza like cheese, margherita, or a cherry tomato & basil. And the strong flavor pairs well with extra meaty pizzas, especially BBQ chicken pizzas.

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing

Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

If you’re following along, and cooking up some of the recipes I’ve been featuring, the next essential ingredient to add to your Asian pantry is the rich, salty, Japanese seasoning paste – Miso

The explosion in popularity of miso has not only led to a wide variety of miso flavors, but also in how it is used.  Once a staple in making Japanese soups, miso has now become a favorite in giving a punch to fusion dishes, where it’s added into everything from marinades to sauces to salad dressings. 

For a taste of its versatility and savory, distinctive flavor, choose a yellow or white miso from the grocery store, and whip up this Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing.

Spicy Miso Dressing with Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning by SeasonWithSpice.com
Spicy Miso Dressing with Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning by SeasonWithSpice.com
Cabbage & Chicken Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing by SeasonWithSpice.com

In this Red Cabbage Salad with Spicy Miso Dressing, I combined a yellow miso with Greek yogurt, rice vinegar, mirin, honey, toasted sesame oil, and our Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning. The creamy dressing is then tossed together with a bed of red cabbage, julienned carrot, red onion slices, shredded chicken, fresh scallion and mint leaves.

It makes a lively fusion salad that is bursting with colors and flavors.