In Japanese, Tataki has two meanings in terms of food preparation. One is to beat the food with a rolling pin to make it easier for the seasoning to be absorbed by the food. Another one is a dish of seared fish or meat. Tataki cucumber is one of the symbolic dishes in Japanese summer.
Tataki cucumber is a kind of cucumber salad seasoned with salt and sesame oil after being beaten. It’s simple but crisp and refreshing. Ideally, it’s better to use Japanese cucumbers, but you can make it with any kind of cucumbers as we do.
We grow cucumbers in summer and we are having a good harvest of cucumbers this year. We have been harvesting cucumbers almost every day. Tataki cucumber is one of my favourite recipes with freshly harvested cucumbers.
Ingredients for Tataki Cucumber
How to make Tataki Cucumber
Cut off the ends of the cucumbers.
Beat the cucumbers with a rolling pin.
And tear them into bite-size chunks or cut them with a knife.
Cut and beat the anchovies with a knife to make a paste.
Crush the garlic and add to the cucumbers along with all the other ingredients.
In Japan, people like to add salted Kombu, a type of seaweed, but it’s not a common ingredient here. I used anchovy instead.
I sometimes add cut red chillies from the garden or roasted sesame seeds.