“Cucumbers are the best in summer and autumn,” says Mike McEnearney, the Mike behind Kitchen By Mike, Rosebery’s canteen-style cafe in the same building that houses design store Koskela and stylist Megan Morton’s educational space, The School. A mainstay on the canteen’s lunchtime menu, this crisp, fresh salad takes no time to prepare, and, as McEnearney points out, “It has very few ingredients. It’s perfect to serve with fatty meat like pork because it’s very clean, thanks to its sharp Asian flavours and cleansing green herbs.”
We don’t need much more convincing.
Cucumber, Mirin & Sesame Salad
2 long cucumbers
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
1 tbls toasted sesame oil
Pinch of salt flakes
1/2 bunch coriander, sprigs picked
2 tsp black sesame seeds
2 tsp white sesame seeds
Mirin and ginger dressing
2 tbls Japanese rice-wine vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
2cm knob ginger, finely chopped
2 red shallots, finely chopped
For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together and leave to sit for a minimum of 1 hour before using.
Halve the cucumbers lengthways and use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds, then cut on an angle into lengths about 10cm x 1cm. Place the cucumber in a large bowl.
Lightly toast the sesame seeds in a dry, heavy-based frying pan. Add to the bowl, along with the remaining ingredients. Pour over the dressing, toss everything together well and serve.
This recipe will be included in Mike McEnearney's cookbook Kitchen by Mike which will be published by Lantern Books in September 2014.