I’m curious… Have you ever heard of or seen lemon cucumbers before? The reason that I ask is that I have to tell you that lemon cucumbers are my all time favorite variety of cucumber. Every year I grow one or two plants in my little garden and for about 4 months during the summer, I get big handfuls of tennis ball sized sweet little cucumbers. This year, due to lack of garden space, I had to grow my lemon cucumber plants in a pot. They did surprisingly well and I will be sure to try that method again next year.
One of the ways I like to eat lemon cucumbers is to slice them into thin slices and dip them into a creamy homemade peanut sauce. I could eat lemon cucumbers and peanut sauce all day if I could… I first was introduced to peanut sauce by my grandmother many years ago. She always seemed to have a small bowl of peanut sauce on the table at family barbecues and meals. I loved to drizzle it on many Indonesian dishes such as pork satay, nasi goreng and gado gado. Many years later, I’ve taken peanut sauce a step further and put it on pizza, tofu tacos and turkey burgers. Peanut sauce is so versatile and delicious!
Lemon cucumbers resemble lemons with the yellow color and oval shape. What I like about lemon cucumbers is that you don’t have to peel them for the skin is paper thin and you can eat them like an apple. After picking them, you will notice that the cucumbers have a bit of a rough exterior. All I do is wash them well and rub off the small little stickers or spines with a damp cloth that grow on the outer skin of the cucumber. Once cleaned up, the skin is smooth and the cucumber is ready to eat. Lemon cucumbers are delightfully mild and delicious. Lemon cucumbers have a short shelf life as compared to the green cucumbers that you see in the store. Once picked you have to eat them within a day or two. Maybe that is why they are hard to find except if you grow them yourself or visit a farmers market. Lemon cucumbers taste great sliced up in salads, on sandwiches or in a pickle. If you get a chance to purchase or grow lemon cucumbers, be sure to make some of my peanut sauce for dipping! Enjoy! Tessa
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 tsp. garlic paste
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 Tbls. Indonesian soy sauce
- 1 Tbls. sweet chili sauce
- regular soy sauce (optional, to taste)
- sambal oelek or red pepper flakes (optional)
- Lemon cucumbers (regular cucumbers can be substituted)
Grab a medium sauce pan or saucier. Find a whisk. Add all ingredients to the pan and cook on low heat for 20 – 30 minutes, whisking constantly. You want the flavors to marry and the sauce to thicken. Taste it. If it is too sweet for your liking, add some soy sauce. If you want it spicier, feel free to add some sambal oelek or some red pepper flakes. Remove from heat and let it cool. Pour into a serving dish. While preparing the peanut sauce, wash and slice the cucumbers. Serve cucumbers with the peanut sauce. Makes nearly 1 1/2 cups.