We discovered this amazingly simple but brilliant way of eating cucumbers in Nagahama on the edge of Lake Biwa in Japan. Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan and has a beautiful temple and shrine on it’s tiny island of Chibuku. The shrine is a pilgrimage place for Japanese and we met an elderly man who was accompanied by 5 lovely ladies – his wife, her sisters, and a neighbour. Ichisan explained the importance of the temple to the region and showed us his amazingly beautiful scroll book where the monks at each temple they have visited draw calligraphy symbols to commemorate the journey.
I think we were the first westerners to visit the island for a long time as we were definitely the talk of the ferry that takes you there and Ichisan was very proud to educate us about their ways and traditions and we were honoured to hear them.
When we arrived at the island we were quite daunted by the height of the stairs that led to the temple and shrine but it was well worth the climb. The temple was stunning the views back over the lake breath taking. But of course once you’re up you have to go down – I’m not sure which was harder.
That evening we had dinner at a local Yakatori and being the green vegetable nut that I am, I honed in on the picture menu cucumbers. When first served to us I thought “Mmm cucumbers on a plate.” I love cucumbers but they seemed a little boring and then I tasted them. My poor husband didn’t get a look in from then on. They are extraordinarily delicious and everyone who tries them – loves them.
- 4 small Cucumber
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 4 Pinches salt Flaked - not rock and not fine ground
- Quarter the cucumbers lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt and sesame oil. Can be prepared ahead of time.