Happy Cumbermas!

Credit: Photo by Extra Crispy Video

It's a holiday of some sort I think, and that calls for feasting. There are always cucumbers around our kitchen—both the kind from the land and the kind from the sea—so it just seemed right to facilitate a little magic. I set up a little meet cute in Instant Pot's belly, turned the pressure on, and set out a bounty of our favorite seafood snacks to round the whole meal out. I also sang. It was weird, but the food was good.

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Land and Sea Cucumber Holiday Stew


Fresh sea cucumbers (1 per guest)
Land cucumbers of various sorts, cut into chunks and strips, peeled only if you want to
Chile oil
Sesame oil
Garlic, minced
Aged vinegar
Rice wine vinegar


Turn on Instant Pot's saute function and pour in equal parts chile oil and sesame oil, enough to cover the bottom of the Instant Pot. Add as much garlic as befits your personal situation, and cook until softened. Add sea cucumbers, and a few handfuls of land cucumber chunks and stir to coat with oil. Add about ¼ cup each of mirin, aged vinegar, and rice wine vinegar, a generous pinch of sugar and salt, and stir. Seal the Instant Pot and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.

Manually release the Instant Pot, add additional chunks and strips of land cucumber, and stir until the new chunks are just barely cooked. Use a slotted spoon to strain the cucumbers into bowls, taste the broth for seasoning, and spoon over. Serve with goldfish crackers, Swedish fish, tuna, anchovies, fish jerky, and whatever else swims your way.