Smashed cucumber salad is a delicious salad recipe from Asian cuisine (Chinese). This cucumber salad is prepared by a unique Asian technique-smashing the cucumbers until they burst open. Vegan and can be easily made gluten free.
With a super flavorful Asian dressing, this Chinese salad is simply addictive and ridiculously easy to make. A wonderful side dish in any Asian meal.
About This Recipe.
Smashed cucumber salad is a popular salad in Asian cuisine. Smashed cucumbers is a unique way of preparing cucumbers in many Asian countries.
I first tasted this salad in a small Asian restaurant many years back. It was a side dish with Asian sauteed vegetables. I was really hooked at the first bite. It had a wonderful unique texture and dressing was so nicely blended with the cucumbers.
Intrigued, I looked at the restaurant menus again to learn that it was a salad with smashed cucumbers. I then did my research to find out it was indeed a very popular salad. I followed a very basic recipe and it turned out excellent.
If you cook Asian food often and have a pantry stocked with Asian basics like soy sauce or tamari, good vinegar you can make this tasty smashed cucumber salad recipe from Chinese cuisine in no time.
Yes, all the other ingredients you need are pretty staple ones like ginger garlic, salt and pepper. of course you need cucumbers 🙂
For such an easy recipe, this salad tastes like a million bucks. Yes, thanks to smashed cucumbers, the dressing really seeps in through them, making them so flavorful and delicious.
This salad also has interesting textures. Uneven smashing leads to a nice textural contrast in every bite.
This is a real fun recipe to try with kids. They will just love the smashing part 🙂
Got few cucumbers lying around? Try this easy cucumber salad and tell me how you liked it 🙂
This Smashed Cucumber Salad Is
Unique and delicious way to prepare cucumbers
Very flavorful and tasty
Vegan and can be easily made gluten free
wonderful side dish in Asian meal
Low cal snack for untimely hunger pangs.
Ok, without much ado let’s take a look at the ingredients, method and tips so that you can try this out too!
Ingredients You Need
Cucumbers– You can use any variety of cucumber for salad . With or without seeds does not matter. I have made the salad this time with desi or local organic cucumbers,
You can use telegraph or English cucumbers or salad cucumbers if you like them.
Soy sauce- You can dark or light ones as per preference. Use naturally brewed low sodium soy sauce if possible. Instead of soya sauce you can also use gluten free tamari or liquid aminos.
Vinegar– You can use rice vinegar or apple cider too here. Instead lemon juice will also work in a pinch.
Ginger-garlic– fresh ones, peeled and minced.
Cilantro leaves- For flavor, adds a wonderful flavor to this recipe.
Bell peppers- to add some color pop and crunch to your cucumber salad you can add some finely chopped bell peppers. I add these in my salad recipes all the time 🙂 These are optional.
Onions– Finely chopped green onions or scallions for flavor and taste. Again this is optional.
Oil- Ideally sesame oil is prefered oil for this recipe. We need a very small quantity, so the best ones for good flavor. I have used toasted sesame oil.
Black peppercorn- Cucumber pairs wonderfully well with freshly black peppercorns. If you find it very spicy for your taste you can use white peppercorns
Salt– to taste
Brown sugar-to round off the flavor.
Step By Step Method
Rinse and wipe excess moisture from the cucumbers.
Using a meat mallet or rolling pin smash it along its length twice or thrice. Do not smash into pieces, just let them burst open.
Now chop them roughly and place in a large bowl sprinkle pinch of salt and mix well. Set aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze excess cucumber water.
In another small bowl mix the ingredients for dressing- peeled and minced ginger, minced garlic cloves, soy sauce, chopped cilantro leaves, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk well.
Add the dressing to the chopped smashed cucumber pieces.
Also add the chopped bell peppers, onions and mix well.
Serve smashed cucumber salad immediately.
Oil– Use toasted sesame oil for best taste and flavor. For most of the Asian recipes sesame oil suits best and for salads toasted ones suit better.
If sesame oil is not available use light olive oil. To enhance flavor you add few drops of chili oil too.
Smashing cucumbers– Smash the cucumbers only until the burst open. The idea is to create an uneven texture and make the dressing seep through the vegetable.
Do not smash them into pieces or make it like coarse paste.
Salting the cucumbers– After smashing the cucumbers, we are adding some salt and let it sit for 5 minutes. This step will remove excess water from cucumber and will not water down the dressing.
Leftovers– You can store the leftover smashed cucumber salad can be stored for two days in refrigerator. Tastes good when served cold.
Salt and sugar– You can add salt and sugar to taste. You can add sea salt, kosher salt or pink salt as per taste. Instead of sugar you can add honey or maple too.
Make it gluten free– Instead of soy sauce just use tamari.
This dish goes very well as side dish with any Asian meal or as light lunch in itself. You can serve with grilled vegetables too.
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Smashed Cucumber Salad
- 2 cucumbers around 300 grams
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup green onions chopped
- 1/4 cup bell peppers finely chopped, assorted colors
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 inch ginger peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- Rinse and wipe the cucumbers well.
- Using a meat mallet or rolling pin smash the cucumbers along its length twice or thrice. Do not smash into pieces, just let them burst open well. Next chop them roughly and place in a large bowl sprinkle pinch of salt and mix well. Set aside for around 5 minutes. Squeeze excess cucumber water and discard.
- Now in another small bowl mix the ingredients for dressing- peeled and minced ginger, minced garlic cloves, soy sauce, chopped cilantro leaves, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Whisk very well.
- Now add the dressing to the chopped smashed cucumber pieces.
- Also add chopped bell peppers, onions and mix well.
- Serve the smashed cucumber salad immediately.
- You can add some avocado or sauteed broccoli to this salad to make it more filling.
- You can double or triple the recipe.
- Use any type of cucumber for this salad, it tastes good.
- Vary the quantity of dressing ingredients as per taste.