Sweet and sour cucumber slices

Sweet and sour cucumber slices

Makes 4 servings

This refreshing, light salad provides a crunchy texture and a cooling element to complement spicy dishes. For color, you can add thinly sliced carrots, tomato cubes, or diced green bell pepper.

4 tablespoons white rice vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1 medium-size cucumber, very thinly sliced
1 small shallot, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced hot red chili pepper (seeds removed)
Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Stir together the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Toss together the cucumber, shallot, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the vinegar-sugar mixture and stir. Refrigerate until chilled.