Spicy Stir-Fried Cucumbers and Chicken

This recipe was super super super spicy with the original ingredients. I have toned it down a bunch from that recipe. You can always add more spice, but taking it away is a bit difficult. K and I tag-teamed this dish, using his awesome stir-frying skills with great effect.

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He is much more careful with cutting things than I am, too. I just don’t have patience for certain things!

The cucumbers are almost pickly in this, which is fun.

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I had shared on Twitter that there were a couple meals that didn’t go smoothly, and this was one because it was so so so spicy. Otherwise, it would have been great. The lesson here is to ignore recipes a bit because I know better what we like to eat, and recipes are not always right. Even if they come from a fancy magazine like Food and Wine.

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One thing I learned is that K and I like things much more seasoned than this magazine. For 3 dishes I have made from them recently, I have had to add much more seasoning than called for. But, that’s ok. Make things the way you like them!

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Directions for Spicy Stir-Fried Cucumbers and Chicken

  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • Oil
  • 2-4 dried red chiles
  • 1 large cucumber (preferably English or Persian), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lemon juice

In a bowl, mix together the chicken with half of the garlic, some white pepper and salt, the ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the baking soda. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

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Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. For just a few minutes, roast the dried red chiles.

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Let them cool, then remove the seeds (and stems). You can crumble them or leave them whole to remove from the dish later. Stir together the vinegar and remaining teaspoon of sugar.

In a wok or large skillet, heat some oil and brown the chicken on both sides.

Add more seasoning if you want.

Add more seasoning if you want.

You don’t need to cook it through yet. Set it aside.

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Add more oil if necessary, then add the chiles, garlic, and ginger. After 1 minute, add the cucumber pieces and vinegar/sugar mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

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Stir fry for about 5-10 minutes until the cucumbers start to look like pickles and the liquid has mostly evaporated.

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Stir in the chicken to finish cooking, then add the cilantro and a bit of lemon juice.

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You can remove the chiles or keep them in the dish.

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Directions for Spicy Stir-Fried Cucumbers and Chicken (without pictures)

  • 1-1.5 pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1.5 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • Oil
  • 2-4 dried red chiles
  • 1 large cucumber (preferably English or Persian), cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lemon juice

In a bowl, mix together the chicken with half of the garlic, some white pepper and salt, the ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the baking soda. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. For just a few minutes, roast the dried red chiles. Let them cool, then remove the seeds (and stems). You can crumble them or leave them whole to remove from the dish later. Stir together the vinegar and remaining teaspoon of sugar.

In a wok or large skillet, heat some oil and brown the chicken on both sides. You don’t need to cook it through yet. Set it aside. Add more oil if necessary, then add the chiles, garlic, and ginger. After 1 minute, add the cucumber pieces and vinegar/sugar mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Stir fry for about 5-10 minutes until the cucumbers start to look like pickles and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Stir in the chicken to finish cooking, then add the cilantro and a bit of lemon juice. You can remove the chiles or keep them in the dish.

 

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6 thoughts on “Spicy Stir-Fried Cucumbers and Chicken

  1. Funny, my husband cooked cukes and put them into spaghetti sauce once and I teased him that I had never seen them cooked. I’ll have to try this recipe and apologize!

    • Aww. lol. We stir-fry them regularly with chicken. His parents also use pork. But you definitely want to do the English or Persian ones since they have less water in them.

  2. I cringe when people make comments like “mind blown” because really? Really? Is your mind really blown? Yes, well it turns out mine is. I had no idea you could stir fry cucumbers. No idea at all. I’ve never even considered a warm cucumber!!! Not once in my entire life. So consider my mind officially blown.

    • Haha! I didn’t realize it was such a novel concept. You know you can stir fry zucchini, too, right? 🙂 His mom also uses lettuce. I feel like I’m not good enough to attempt lettuce yet. It’s also not my favorite.

      • I’m making something with zucchini this weekend. If it turns out well, I hope to make it again this summer when they’re coming in the farmers’ markets. I love getting produce there!

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