June 17, 2014

Thai Peanut Cucumber Cups


This week is especially hot and humid here in Ontario, and when the weather is this warm, all I want for dinner is cold and refreshing meals, like chilled soups and salads full of fresh veggies. 

Of course, veggies can get a bit boring sometimes, so it helps to turn them into something more exciting, like these Thai peanut cucumber cups that I made as an appetizer last week!

The inspiration for these came from Courtney of The Fig Tree blog, who posted these peanut satay celery sticks a while back. I thought the idea of filling celery sticks with a peanut sauce, carrots, and sesame seeds sounded so creative!  I'm not a huge fan of celery though, and I knew that cucumbers go well with cold peanut noodle dishes, so I thought cucumber cups would work really well as a base instead.


I've actually made cucumber cup appetizers before and they're always a hit, but I usually fill them with hummus or tzatziki, so this was a fun twist! If you've never seen this idea before, you just slice your cucumber and then scoop out some of the middle so that you have a nice little cup to fill with sauce, and then you can add whatever toppings you like too. 

For these, I filled the cucumber cups with a thick peanut sauce, then sprinkled sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, and shredded carrot on top of each one (see above picture for a visual of the process). Everything comes together into one bite that's creamy, crunchy, a bit spicy, and refreshing all at once!

I shared these with a group of friends and everyone loved them, so I'm sure I'll be making them again whenever I need a light, veggie-based appetizer - which will probably be often this summer!



Thai Peanut Cucumber Cups
Inspired by The Fig Tree and Vegetarian Times

1/2 cup peanut butter
4 tsp sweet chile sauce
1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of ground ginger (or fresh ginger, I just didn't have any!)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tbsp water
1 English cucumber
~1/3 cup shredded carrot
Sesame seeds
Chopped peanuts


To make the peanut sauce, stir together the peanut butter, chile sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger until smooth. Add the water to thin out a bit. Set aside or store in the fridge until needed.

Slice the cucumber into pieces about 1 inch thick. Use a melon baller or a ½ tsp measure to scoop out the middle seedy portion of each slice – don’t go all the way through, you still want a bit of cucumber at the bottom of each cup!

Lay out cucumber cups on a plate or serving dish. Spoon the peanut sauce into each cup (I just estimated how much to put in – you want a round mound in the middle of each cup but not too much that it overflows). 

Sprinkle a bit of sesame seeds on top of the peanut sauce in each cup, followed by a bit of shredded carrot and crushed peanuts – it might help to do the peanuts first so they stick to the peanut butter, then finish with the carrots, but the order doesn’t really matter!

Refrigerated finished cucumber cups until serving time.

Makes enough for about 20-22 cups.




3 comments:

  1. Love it! What a great idea for a party. Looks and sounds delicious. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE these!!!! They look and sound so good, when hot and humid weather strikes the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven, this recipe is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This looks amazing, going to pin it and try them later. TFS!

    ReplyDelete

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