Sesame Peanut Cucumbers

Ingredients for Sesame Peanut CucumbersThough I buy a wide array of produce, I am often pleasantly surprised with new vegetables and fruits in my CSA box. Like Armenian cucumbers. The past few weeks one or two of these lengthy, ribbed cucumbers – up to 18 inches! – was nestled in my box. Dense and crunchy, delicious any way you slice it: as a sauce diced with yogurt, salt and pepper; tossed in salads; or simply sliced, plain or salted.  But by week three, I was looking for another recipe, and a stir-fry came to mind. Cucumber and red bell pepper simply sauced with soy sauce and Thai Chili paste for a little kick. Roasted Red Pepper Thai chili paste is available in the Asian food section of the grocery store, or garlic and red chili flakes are a very good substitute. Serve as a side vegetable, over rice, or add tofu or chicken for a Get-Cooking-Simply meal![/donotprint]

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Sesame Peanut Cucumbers
Makes 4 servings
Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

1-1/2  teaspoons sesame oil
3  cups thinly sliced Armenian cucumber
 1  medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
 1/4  cup low-sodium soy sauce
 1/4  cup water
 1  teaspoon Red Pepper Thai Chili paste*
 1  teaspoon cornstarch
 1/4  cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
*or substitute 1 clove garlic minced and
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Heat sesame oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add cucumber and bell pepper, cook, stirring frequently for 4-5 minutes just until heated through and vegetables are lightly cooked. They should not be soft.

Stir together soy sauce and water in a 1 cup liquid measuring cup. Stir in chili paste (or garlic and pepper flakes) and cornstarch. Add to skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook and stir for two minutes until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve topped with peanuts.

Kitchen Tips:
Kirby cucumbers (most common) or English cucumbers can be substituted. Peel and remove seeds from the Kirby. Remove some or all of the peel on the English cucumber, and don’t bother seeding it.

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