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Nov 29, 2004 06:44 PM

Cucumber Recipe to overcome cucumber-fobia

  • m

Please help me overcome my hatred of cucumbers!

I just HATE cucumbers' taste and smell. I am at the point where I even don't eat lettuce in a salad once it's touched cucumber. Other things I won't be able to eat because of this - Raita or any yogurt sause with minced cucumber, relish, thousand island dressing. dill pickles, potato salad... I have to ask for non-cucumber in such items as California roll or greek salad (assuming that they are not already tossed with cucumbers).

Is there a way to cook or prepare cucumber, so that I can slowly but surely start taking a small dose of this and eventually overcome with my hatred towards cucumber?? Your help is greatly appreciated!!

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  1. I respect your desire to overcome your cuke phobia. I actually LOVE cucumbers b/c I find them so refreshing and snackable, esp. in the summer. In the past few yrs., I have grown accustomed to solely buying English or hothouse cucumbers. This variety has a thin exterior, which does not need to be peeled like the other variety. It also is considered seedless, although there are tiny edible seeds here and there. I always scrape out the soft core if I'm using it in a recipe. You can find them at major markets (like Safeway) and Trader Joe's for about $1.50-2 each.

    As far as recipes, the simplest way I enjoy them is to cut them into long wedges, add kosher salt, and munch away. I also make quick homemade pickles by marinading them in vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, a little sugar. Also like them sliced into salads with either an Asian-flavored dressing (fish sauce, soy, dash of sesame oil, canola oil, rice vinegar) or Greek-flavored dressing (red wine vinegar, EVOO, lemon, oregano). Hope this helps...

    1. Your probably best taking the pickle route.

      Try the sweet pickles first, bread and butter, etc.

      Then go to the garlic dills and those that are more "pickled."

      Slowly go to half sours then try slices of fresh cucumber with vinegar and sugar.

      I also had some great sliced cucumbers with garlic oil and salt which tasted more like garlic than anything else at Grand Sichuan in NYC.

      Good luck. I love cucumbers especially that garlic oil preparation...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jonathan Saw

        I absolutely love the Cucumbers with fresh garlic at Grand Sichuan. Very refreshing especially after eating all the other spicy dishes. I found a recipe online (linked below) that seems to be for the same dish, but I have yet to try it.


      2. Easy.

        Start with a good cucumber. I mean a real one, grown by real farmer on a real field in real dirt - i.e. the cucumber that has been touched by a human hand. These can usually be procured on a farmer's market anytime between June and August virtually anywhere in the US. Sold as "pickling" cucumbers. Small, slightly curvy, slightly prickly.

        As a weak substitute, you might try to buy them in [Whole Foods] or some ethnic grocery store, but that is like learning to like bread having access to stale bread only. Freshness is important.

        Now pick a nice one - about twice the size of an old-fashioned lipstick case (wider and longer).

        Wash it. Now bite into it. Just like that. Taste. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Taste again. Taste some swiss cheese or italian salami to provide a contrast (the opposite of cleansing the palate). Now taste again.

        You should be a convert by now.

        Then try the salads, cucumber sandwiches, etc. - you might soon be able to "see" that ideal cucumber in its pale industrial "english" cucumber version. Or even - horror- learn how to trick the most mediocre of the supermarket thick-skin-tough-seeds-varities into resembling the real thing.

        But you have to wait until the summer to try it.

        Do not bother until then.

        P.S. Learning to like cucumbers via pickles is like learning to like oranges via marmelade. Not quite the same thing.

        1. Your determination to overcome an obstacle is impressive. I bet you are that way in other areas of your life too.

          Here is a simple homemade sugar/vinegar dressing, easy and fat free. Wash the cuke and peel. Slice lengthwise and scoop out seeds and soft stuff with a spoon (too watery otherwise). Slice into real thin crescent shapes, and add an amount of thin sliced sweet onion if you prefer, however much you prefer.

          Make a dressing of two parts white vinegar to one part white sugar, and salt and papper to taste. Check to see if to your liking and adjust ingredients accordingly. Some people add vegetable oil, but then not fat free.

          Can now add anything else you like, dill, mint, celery seed, anything. Some like with sour cream and I do too, but then not fat free.

          Let it sit at least a couple hours, best overnight or a couple days. Just gets better.

          Or, try this. Buy any jar of pickles you like. Eat the pickles, save the juice. Fill the jar with those sliced cukes. Let sit for a day or two days is better. Turn it over once in a while. Enjoy.

          1. I agree with the previous poster about fresh cukes they are the best after you pick them from your(or someone else's) garden. Perhaps trying them without the seeds would help. Peel, slice in half, scoop out the seeds and fill with your favorite dip - then dig in.