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Spicy Stir-Fried Cucumbers with Shredded Chicken
© Fredrika Stjärne

Spicy Stir-Fried Cucumbers with Shredded Chicken

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Cucumbers are often overlooked as a stir-fry ingredient, but they shouldn't be: They're tender, crisp and juicy.

Slideshows: Cucumber Recipes

  1. 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets, pounded 1/8 inch thick and very thinly sliced crosswise
  2. 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  3. 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  4. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  5. Kosher salt
  6. Freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  8. 1 teaspoon sugar
  9. 3 tablespoons canola oil
  10. 12 dried red chiles, such as chiles de árbol—10 left whole, 2 stemmed and crumbled
  11. 1 pound seedless cucumbers, preferably Persian, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  12. 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced
  13. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro sprigs
  14. Lemon wedges and steamed rice, for serving
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with half of the garlic and ginger and the baking soda; season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, stir the vinegar with the sugar and 1/4 cup of water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and stir-fry over moderately high heat until the chicken is almost cooked through, 2 minutes; transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the whole and crumbled dried chiles, cucumbers, vinegar mixture and the remaining garlic and ginger; season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry over moderate heat until the cucumbers are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3 minutes. Add the chicken and serrano and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, 1 minute. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and rice.