26 . 酸黄瓜 (suān huáng guā) – Pickled Cucumber
All vegetables have to keep moving in China, or they’ll end up in a pickle. The humble cucumber is no exception.
Here we have this strange looking object, which looks like something you'd need a poop scoop to deal with.
Known as 酱黄瓜 (jiàng huáng guā), literally 'sauce cucumber', 酱 being an abbreviation for 酱油 (jiàng yóu) meaning 'soy sauce', these are cucumbers cured in soy sauce. Much nicer than they look.
Also common and found in most supermarkets is this pickled cucumber salad. Lightly pickled and still with a bite to it. As you can no doubt see, it is dressed with chili oil before serving.
Then, this commercially produced, you will see, is labelled 乳黄瓜 (rǔ huáng guā). The literal meaning of 乳 ( rǔ) ís ‘breast’ or ‘milk’, but here is an abbreviation for 乳酸 (rǔ suān), literally ‘milk sour’ which is ‘lactic acid’. So, it is lacto-fermented as are so many pickles, including dill pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.
This is another of those things to add to your rice or noodles to give them a lift.