Cucumber Salad with Caramelized Shallots and Herbs

Photo: Thomas J. Story

This cucumber salad, from brother and sister Eric and Sophie Banh, chefs and co-owners of Monsoon and Ba Bar, in Seattle, gets its unmistakable sweet-salty crunch from a generous garnish of caramelized shallots, an addictive staple in Vietnamese salads. It's key to slice them uniformly, or they won't cook evenly.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Total:
Recipe from Sunset

More From Sunset

Recipe Time

Total: 45 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 95
  • Calories from fat: 57%
  • Protein: 1.8g
  • Fat: 6.3g
  • Saturated fat: 0.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 9.7g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 70mg
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg

Ingredients

  • 3 large shallots, sliced crosswise into 1/4-in.-thick rings to yield 1 cup, plus 1 tbsp. minced shallot
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • About 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • About 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • About 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 English cucumbers
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped Thai basil* (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped red or green shiso* (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced cu kieu (Vietnamese pickled leeks)* or mild cucumber pickles, such as cornichons or Claussen dill

Preparation

  1. 1. Toss shallot slices to separate them into rings. Have ready a slotted spoon and a double layer of paper towels. Heat oil to 275° in a small, deep heavy saucepan and drop in shallot rings.
  2. 2. Cook shallots, stirring often, until they turn a uniform light brown--this will take about 8 to 12 minutes. Turn off the heat when they look almost done so they don't burn. Lift shallots from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tsp. shallot oil for vinaigrette and let cool. Save the rest for stir fries and any salad dressings.
  3. 3. Make vinaigrette: Whisk vinegars, sugar, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper together in a large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve. Add reserved shallot oil and the minced shallots and whisk well to blend. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  4. 4. Slice cucumbers into 1/4-in. slices with a knife or on a mandoline. Toss cucumbers and tomatoes with vinaigrette. Add mint, Thai basil, and shiso if using.
  5. 5. Arrange salad on a platter and top with pickled leeks and fried shallots.
  6. Make ahead: Fried shallots, up to 2 days, stored airtight at room temperature.
  7. *Thai basil has narrow leaves, a purplish stem, and an anisey scent. Shiso, a beautiful notch-edged red or green herb, lends delicious fragrance to a dish (it's often served with sushi); the red is more pungent. Vietnamese pickled leeks are crunchy and mildly spicy-sweet. Find all at Asian markets.
My Notes

Only you will be able to view, print, and edit this note.

Add Note

Cucumber Salad with Caramelized Shallots and Herbs Recipe at a Glance
advertisement
  1. Enter at least one ingredient

Find out what we've got cooking...

Weekly Specials
Get our Free Weekly Specials Newsletter filled with our favorite recipes, seasonal menus, and special features.
We Respect Your Privacy. Privacy Policy