While I was on exchange in Malaysia, I couldn't wait to get home everyday from school to see what my Thai host mother had whipped up for dinner. Out of her tiny kitchen she produced some of the best food I'd ever eaten and made sure I ate it, all. After prodding me to 'finish, finish', with a proud little gleam in her eye she would then poke me in the belly and tell me how fat I was.
While slightly traumatic at first, I soon learned to take it in my ever heavier stride and gave it my all when it came to dinner time (yeap, I'm just a trooper that way). One of my absolute favourites was her fried rice, not complete without a bowl of spicy cucumber pickle. In fact, I'm not sure I really remember what her rice tastes like at all it was always so covered in the stuff! Sour, sweet and spicy all at once, I'll never eat fried rice without it again.
Spicy Cucumber Pickle
½ large cucumber, halved down the middle and finely sliced
1-2 small shallots, sliced
½ small red chilli, sliced
2 tbs sugar
½ tsp salt
¾ cup white vinegar (I use Chinese white vinegar if I want it very sour, or rice vinegar for less of a kick)
Mix all ingredients together and let sit for about half an hour before serving at room temperature.