---------- Recipe via UNREGISTERED Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
  
       Title:  Ma-La Cucumber Fans
  Categories: Vegetable, Chinese, Masterchefs, Frisco, Cm
       Yield: 4 servings
  
     1/2 lb Cucumbers, Japanese, or           1/4 ts Chili, red, dry, flakes
            -- Kirby                          1/4 ts Peppercorns, Szechuan,
       1 ts Salt, kosher                             -- brown
   1 1/2 ts Oil, peanut OR                    1/2 ts Soy sauce
   1 1/2 ts Oil, corn                           1 tb Vinegar, rice
       1 ts Ginger, thinly cut              1 1/2 tb Sugar
   1 1/2 ts Garlic, minced                      1 ts Oil, sesame
  
        Remove the tips from the cucumbers, then cut them up into 2-inch
   lengths.  Grasp cucumber lengthwise between chopsticks held in a
   V-shape on a cutting board, then cut the cucumber crosswise at
   1/8-inch intervals into a fan (chopsticks prevent knife from cutting
   clear through the cucumber.)
   
        Toss the cucumbers with salt and set aside for thirty minutes to
   soften.
   
        Drain, rinse with cold water, then press gently between palms to
   remove excess water.
   
        Heat a wok or medium-size heavy skillet over moderate heat until
   hot enough to sizzle a bead of water slowly.  Add corn or peanut oil,
   swirl to glaze bottom, then reduce heat to low.
   
        When hot enough to sizzle a ginger thread, add ginger, garlic,
   chili, and peppercorns.  Toss until fully fragrant, about ten seconds,
   then add a pinch more chili if your nose tells you it’s needed.
   
        Add cucumber, toss to combine, then add soy, vinegar, sugar, and
   sesame oil.  Toss until sugar dissolves and liquid is hot.
   
        Taste and adjust with a bit more sugar if needed to bring out the
   full flavor of the chili.  Scrape the mixture into a shallow bowl and
   set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
   
        Before serving, remove most of the peppercorns.
   
        Source: Great Chefs of San Francisco, Avon Books, 1984
        Chef:   Barbara Tropp, China Moon, San Francisco, CA
  
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