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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cucumbers like the ones at P.F. Chang’s

The girls and I love ordering Shanghai Cucumbers whenever we visit P.F. Chang’s. They’re just so dang tasty! The last time we went, I told Ro and Ree that I’d Google the recipe after dinner, and we hit the jackpot with the official recipe released by the restaurant (check it out here). I ran to the store to get sesame oil, and Ro (our resident chef-in-training) made it all herself (except for the knifework).


Here they are “marinating” for a few minutes:DSC_2199LR

Pretty proud of herself:

The recipe was tasty and easy to follow. Definitely making it again, and here’s what we’ll do differently next time, see italicized notes:

P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers


12 oz. Peeled and Seeded Cucumbers, cut into 1” pieces (We used 3 big cucumbers, which was great but I’d cut them differently next time – slicing each cucumber in half and then half again, then slicing each strip into 1-inch chunks. My bad this time, I couldn’t remember what they looked like in the restaurant since we inhale them so quickly.)
1.5 oz. Gluten Free Soy Sauce (we only had a sorta blah low-sodium one in the fridge, but I’m getting a real-deal soy sauce for next time)
1 tsp. White Vinegar
¼ tsp. Sesame Oil (Ro and I adore the flavor of this stuff, so we’ll add a tiny bit more next time)
½ tsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds (next time these are getting a quick whirl in a hot saute pan to bring out the flavor even further, I’ll have to help with that part)


1. Mix together the sauce ingredients (Ro added the sesame seeds right to the sauce and it was fine)
2. Mix sauce together with the cucumbers
3. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top
We ate these immediately (Ro and Ree even licked the bowl), but they’d be even better with an hour of marinating to really soak up the flavor.

PS: If you have a favorite brand or type of soy sauce, please share. I’m heading out shopping tomorrow.


  1. Those sound delicious! Will need to give that recipe a whirl sometime. Always looking for ways to make veggies more exciting!

  2. We make something similar in the summer, so yummy! I like Black Swan soy sauce, most anything but kikkoman for some reason I just don't like the flavor of Kikkoman. But it is the easiest to find.

    1. I'm going to check the Asian market near us to see if they have Black Swan. Thanks!

  3. Shauna9/05/2012

    My absolute FAVORITE soy sauce is Lee Kum Kee's sweet soy sauce. It is amazing and really brings dishes to the next level from regular soy sauce! It really isn't that sweet either, but it has really rich flavor! I actually had a bottle of this, then used it up and threw out the bottle and couldn't remember the name! I finally recognized the bottle at an Asian food mart near me and haven't looked back since!

    1. Cool, I'll see if I can find it, thanks!

  4. Anonymous9/05/2012

    Did you use English cucumbers? I would be inclined to use them and not remove the seeds. Do you think it would affect the taste?

    1. We used regular ones, but a bunch of folks that I saw who tried similar recipes used English and liked them. You could always do both and have a taste test (we're big on taste tests around here!).

  5. If you can find japanese cucumbers they are THE best. You don't even have to take the seeds out. For soy sauce it's either Kikkoman or Yamasa. The Japanese brands are best. You can also try rice vinegar and addind some korean chili powder. Yummy!

    1. I'll have to look for those - I've seen English cucumbers in our stores.

  6. Ummmm, my version is:

    1) peeled and cut cucumbers
    2) sesame oil
    3) salt
    4) MSG, I mean "Accent"

  7. Is it wrong to teach kids to use knives? What age would you think is okay? I was letting my guys cut raw carrots, thinking maybe I need a parenting course or something?

  8. We let our daughter use knives with supervision from around 6. She's 9 now and been chopping vegetables for quite a few years.
    I wouldn't give her the sharpest knife but you can chop cucumber, tomatoes, peppers wtc with a fairly safe knife. ( by which I mean if you cut yourself you'd need a band aid rather than ambulance )

  9. Anonymous9/05/2012

    We bought green lettuce knives from the grocery store. The girls use those to cut cucumbers, lettuce, and a few other veggies. My 7 year old is allowed to use a little sharper knife with supervision. My 6 year old is accident prone so she can't.

  10. Anonymous9/06/2012

    Last week on Dr. Oz he suggested using Ponzu Sauce instead of Soy Sauce. Haven't tried it yet! Your recipe sounds super! Can't believe how the twins have grown up...they are beautiful!
    Grandma to Many

  11. I buy Pearl River brand soy sauce at the Asian market. We love it! I don't make it to the market often, so when I go, I buy like six bottles at a time!

  12. Anonymous9/07/2012

    Am i the only one that thinks with M3's history of knife accidents in the kitchen, the girls might be less accident prone than she is :-)