A simple, crunchy and sharp pickled salad to balance the richness of all the protein and carbs. Chinkiang vinegar is a rice-based black vinegar that you’ll find in any good Asian supermarket. It has a very particular taste that’s both acidic and umami all at once. If you can’t find it, use rice-wine vinegar with a touch of soy mixed in instead, though that would mean the dish is no longer gluten-free.
Prep 10 min
Marinate 2 hr 20 min
Cook 5 min
2 large cucumbers, cut in half lengthways, watery centres scraped out and discarded
Flaked sea salt
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp Chinkiang black rice vinegar, or normal rice-wine vinegar with a touch of soy sauce
3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander leaves
Cut the cucumber into roughly 1.5cm chunks. Add to a bowl with two teaspoons of flaked salt, stir and set aside for 20 minutes. Strain, discarding any liquid, then return the cucumber to the bowl with the garlic, lime, vinegar and two-thirds each of the ginger and spring onions. Leave to marinate for two hours. To serve, toss through the coriander and the remaining ginger and spring onions, and sprinkle over a quarter-teaspoon more salt.
Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian