Side Dishes

Stir-Fried Cucumber (清炒青瓜)

Stir-Fried Cucumber (清炒青瓜)

清炒青瓜, or Stir-Fried Cucumber, is a simple, refreshing, and healthy dish often found in Chinese cuisine. This recipe focuses on the natural, crisp taste of cucumbers, cooked quickly to maintain their crunchiness. It's a perfect side dish, especially during warmer weather, for its light and invigorating qualities. Here's how to prepare it.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese


  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil optional
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of sugar optional
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce optional
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar optional, for a slightly tangy taste
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes or sliced chili optional, for a bit of heat


Prepare the Cucumbers:

  • Wash the cucumbers and pat them dry. Peel them if you prefer, although the skin can be left on for added texture and nutrients.
  • Slice the cucumbers diagonally into thin slices.

Cook the Garlic:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic and stir-fry briefly until it's fragrant but not browned.

Stir-Fry the Cucumbers:

  • Increase the heat to high and add the cucumber slices to the wok.
  • Stir-fry quickly for about 1-2 minutes. The goal is to heat the cucumbers through while retaining their crispness.


  • Add salt to taste. If using, sprinkle a pinch of sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and red pepper flakes or chili. Toss everything well to combine.

Finish with Sesame Oil:

  • If using sesame oil, drizzle it over the cucumbers just before removing them from the heat.


  • Serve the stir-fried cucumber immediately as a light and refreshing side dish.

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