The cucumber cups from the Japanese Food Carving book were so much fun that I had to try some more decorative appetizers. I filled each spiral with krab sticks, whipped cream cheese, and sliced avocado.
I don’t have the fancy punches which would make coring the cucumbers easy, but used instead an old straight vegetable peeler. I cut a long straight English cucumber (also called burpless cucumber or hothouse cucumber) into 3-inch lengths and cut a center “core” from each piece.
To begin the spiral, put a chopstick into the center of a cucumber cylinder, insert a knife, and then rotate cucumber while moving the knife forward to make spiraling corkscrew shape.
How do you know when a avocado is ripe? Squeeze it? Sniff it? No: push the button on the stem end gently to the side; if it easily pops off then your avocado is perfect!
I cut the krab sticks in half and spread them with whipped cream cheese. Turns out it would have been better to have used a regular package of cream cheese. The soft cheese was very messy when sandwiched between krab and avocado slice and inserted into the cucumber curl.
|my mind is
a big hunk of irrevocable nothing which touch and taste and smell
and hearing and sight keep hitting and chipping with sharp fatal
in an agony of sensual chisels i perform squirms of chrome and ex-
ecute strides of cobalt
feel that i cleverly am being altered that i slightly am becoming
something a little different,in fact
Hereupon helpless i utter lilac shreiks and scarlet bellowings.
—Edward Estlin Cummings
5 thoughts on “Cucumber Curls”
Hi Tess! These look so festive and scrumptious! I’ve always wondered how they were made. I have a box of Japanese vegetable cutters. I’ve only used the flower shaped one to do carrots when I’ve wanted to gussy up my Nabes. The round one might work for this… they’re about 2″ tall. Also, you know me… I like to try variations on things. What about some smoked salmon, and a little dill weed mixed in with the cream cheese? Sort of loses its “Japanese-ness” then…. I suppose.
Are you going to be doing more Mukimono from the book?
Smoked salmon sounds good, and I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to dill!
Now that I think about it, these could have used a little wasabi.
I think I’ll stick to really easy cuts only. There are still some easy to do examples.
I’d really like to learn how to cut those thin sheets of daikon though. There is a lovely calla lily in the book and some really cool looking “cups.”
Look at this starting at about 3 minutes:
The cucumber spirals are such a good idea for any number of fillings. What a trick this is for cutting a spiral! I never knew this before. Also, I never knew how to tell when an avocado is ripe. We go through a lot of avos, and I generally just do a soft squeeze to tell ripeness. This stem method is better.
Thank you for my mini kitchen lesson today.
Yes the spirals are easy to do too! I would never have thought of it without the book! And if I can do them, you KNOW they are not difficult!!
I just learned a further thing about the avocado-ripe-stem thing. With over-ripe avocados, obviously the button will pop off easily as well. If there is no green under the removed stem, then you know they are very ripe to almost over ripe. or brown. bad …
I am an avocado maniac! Good to know these tricks. Even though California grows a substantial amount, it’s always a drag to pay premium for one, just to find out that it’s only soft because so many people have squeezed it before I did!