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Hiyashijiru (Chilled Cucumber Sesame Soup)

Hiyashijiru is a chilled cucumber soup with a sesame miso broth from the Miyazaki region of Japan, perfect for a hot summer day!
Course Brunch, Entree
Cuisine Best, Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Rice, Vegetable
Diet Dairy-Free, Low-Fat, Pescatarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 serving

Ingredients

  • 400 grams Japanese cucumber (~3 Japanese or ~4 Persian cucumbers)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 30 grams toasted sesame seeds (~1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup dashi
  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 5 leaves green shiso (finely julienned)
  • shichimi (to taste)
  • 4 bowls cooked short-grain rice

Instructions

  1. Cut the ends off the cucumbers and use a mandoline or sharp knife to slice them into 1/16" thick slices.
  2. Toss the cucumbers with the salt and let this sit for at least 30 minutes. The salt draws the water out of the cucumbers changing their texture from crispy to crunchy.
  3. Once the cucumbers have started to wilt, you can speed the process up by massaging them like you would knead bread, starting with mild pressure and increasing pressure as the cucumber yields more easily
  4. When the cucumbers have become translucent, grab a ball of sliced cucumber in your hand and squeeze until no more water comes out. Then rotate the ball of cucumbers a little in your hand and squeeze again until no more water comes out. Keep repeating this until you can no longer squeeze any water out of the cucumbers. If you started with 400 grams of cucumbers, you should now have about 160 grams.
  5. Put the sesame seeds in a food processor or blender and grind until the sesame looks like wet sand.
  6. Add the dashi, miso, and sugar and blend until smooth.
  7. Pour the sesame miso sauce over the squeezed cucumbers and add the shiso. Stir to combine and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it.
  8. To serve, fill a bowl with hot rice and pour the cucumbers and chilled soup over the rice. If you like a little heat, sprinkle on some shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7 spicy chili powder) to garnish.

Notes:

While traditionally this is made with a fish based dashi, this can easily be made vegetarian or vegan by using a kombu-based dashi. If you can’t find fresh Japanese or Lebanese cucumbers where you live, you can substitute a small hothouse cucumber with seeds removed, or other thin-skinned variety of cucumber.