Stir-Fried Cucumbers With Spicy Ground Pork Recipe

Cucumbers, not just for salads. Shao Z.

Why It Works

  • Salting the cucumbers draws out their moisture, improving their texture while seasoning them.
  • A simple sauce made from soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch adds flavor while thickening the liquid the cucumbers release in the wok.

Cucumbers might make you think of salads and pickles, but they're excellent as the main ingredient in stir fries as well. Exposed to the wok's intense heat, they become silky smooth with a juicy, meaty bite. In this easy recipe, they're paired with spicy ground pork.

Recipe Facts



Active: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 2 to 4 servings

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  • 2 pounds cucumbers (about 3 large cucumbers), partially peeled to create alternating peeled and unpeeled vertical strips, seeded, and cut on the bias 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Marinated Pork:

  • 1/2 pound ground pork

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine

  • 1 teaspoon  canola or vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the Sauce and Stir-Fry:

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil, divided

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili flakes, to taste

  • 1/2 head garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. Place cucumbers in a large bowl and add the salt. Mix and toss until the cucumbers start to release a little bit of water, about 1 minute. Let stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, For the Marinated Pork: In a small bowl, combine ground pork with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oil, fish sauce, and cornstarch. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

  3. For the Sauce and Stir-Fry: In a small bowl combine the water, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Mix well and set aside.

  4. Drain cucumbers and rinse under cold running water. Drain well, then pat dry with paper towels.

  5. In a wok, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil over high heat until smoking. Add marinated pork, spreading it out with a spatula so that it makes a thin layer. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds. Using the spatula, break the pork into small pieces. Add chili flakes to taste and continue stir-frying until the pork is cooked through and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  6. Wipe the wok clean and add the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and heat over high heat until smoking. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 10 seconds. Add cucumbers and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Return pork to the wok and stir well. Mix the sauce with a spoon or chopstick and pour it into the wok. Continue cooking and stirring until the cucumbers begin to look glossy, about 30 seconds. Transfer cucmbers a plate and serve with rice.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
356 Calories
22g Fat
22g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 356
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 783mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 8mg 40%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 588mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)