Technically, this “pickle” recipe is a Sichuan-style cucumber salad, according to Richard’s sister-in-law Ruth Hsiao, who sometimes adds crushed radishes that have been crisped by sitting with salt for an hour. But my parents have been calling the dish Richard’s Pickles for almost half a century now, since my father wrote it down in 1971, so we continue on with this tender misnomer to honor their late, beloved friend.
- Marinate cucumbers in garlic and salt for 1 hour. Drain, wash, and dry thoroughly.
- Heat oils until smoking, then add chile peppers until blackened. Remove from heat and cool somewhat. Add Sichuan peppercorns and Korean peppers.
- Pour oil over dried cukes.
- Mix ginger, shoyu, sugar, vinegar, and MSG. Toss with cucumbers and marinate for 4.5 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Mari Uyehara is a food and travel writer based in Brooklyn. She was previously a senior editor at Saveur, the food & drink editor at Time Out New York, and the food editor of Martha Stewart Living Radio.