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Thai Cucumber Salad
an extremely refreshing accompaniment to an authentic Thai dinner

Ingredients:
2 large cucumbers (about 3/4 pound each)
1 large purple onion (about 10 ounces)
2 teaspoons very finely minced lime zest (green part only)
2 tablespoons finely slivered green or red hot chile (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions:
1. Wash the cucumbers, and, with a vegetable peeler, cut 8 evenly spaced strips of peel off of each one. Cut the cucumbers into extremely thin diagonal slices, and place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Peel the onion, cut into the thinnest possible slices, and place them in the bowl with the cucumbers, breaking the onion slices into individual rings. Add the lime zest and the chile slivers (if using), and toss together well.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, place the sugar. Whisk in the lime juice until the sugar is well blended. Whisk in the fish sauce. Pour mixture over the cucumbers, and blend well. Garnish the salad with cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.

This is an extremely refreshing accompaniment to an authentic Thai dinner, or to any meal that could stand a bit of sweet-sour excitement on the side. The salad is best when made just before serving; when it's held, the flavors get more profound but the cucumbers get more watery. Serves 4 as a side dish