When I was living in the US, there were certain vegetables (like lettuce or cucumbers) that you just didn't cook. It's a mental roadblock that kept me from realizing the full potential of these green veggies until I moved to Asia and realized they're no different from other vegetables like broccoli or carrots. They're delicious raw, but cooking them can transform them into something entirely different.
This easy stir-fry was inspired by Smashed Cucumber Salad, turning it into an easy summer stir-fry that creates this marvelous juxtaposition between the rich, flavorful pork and the crunchy, refreshing cucumber. It's sublime with a frosty mug of beer, but it's equally satisfying served atop a bed of rice.
I used 2 Japanese cucumbers, but this recipe will work with any thin-skinned cucumber without many seeds, such as Lebanese or English. If you use a large English cucumber, you may want to slice it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds in the center first. As for the pork, I used a fatty part of the shoulder, but a relatively lean pork belly would work well. I do not recommend using leaner cuts of pork, such as tenderloin or loin chops, as they will end up dry.
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