today is Jan 22, 2022

Refreshing and crunchy cucumber are smashed/smacked and then tossed in savory, tangy, and umami sauce. They are so easy to put together and perfect as a quick appetizer, side dish, or snack. All the little techniques you need to know to get the best out of this dish.

Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜

Ingredients

1. Cucumbers The best cucumbers to use for this salad are mini cucumbers and Persian cucumbers. They are small with a thin skin and small seeds. The texture is crunchy too. The next best one is English cucumber, which was what I used at the time I took this step-by-step photo. I won’t recommend regular cucumber as the texture is a bit too mushy 2. Salt I use fine sea salt. The salt is used to draw excess water out from the cucumbers, making them crunchier 3. Sugar I use granulated sugar, but you can also use caster sugar 4. Chinese black vinegar Also known as Chinkiang vinegar. You can also use balsamic vinegar in a pinch, but balsamic vinegar is a bit sweeter 5. Sesame oil I use toasted white sesame oil. Toasted black sesame oil is fine too 6. Chili oil Chili oil adds a nice kick to the salad. You can use store-bought or homemade chili oil 7. Chili flakes Chili flakes add some heat, but not too much 8. Soy sauce Soy sauce adds a nice umami flavor to the dish. You can also use tamari or low-sodium soy sauce 9. Garlic I use fresh garlic. Don’t use the pre-minced garlic that comes in a jar. You want to use the fresh one for the best result

Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜

How to make easy Chinese smashed cucumber salad

In these step-by-step photo instructions, I’m showing you the rough outline. Please refer to the recipe card for all the little details. 1. Wash the cucumbers clean and pat them dry. Trim off both ends of the cucumber. If you use English cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise and then cut it into two shorter pieces. 2. If the seeds are large, you can scoop the seeds out. Keep the skin. Use the side of the cleaver or knife to smack on the cucumber about 3-4 times just to crack them open a bit. This can be a bit messy as the juice will splatter out a bit. We don’t want to smack too much that we break the cucumbers into pieces

3. Cut the cucumbers at a diagonal angle for an attractive presentation. Put all the cucumbers in a large bowl. 4. Add all the salt and let them marinate for about 5 minutes. The salt draws out water from the cucumber. Discard the liquid. Cover and keep the cucumber chilled in the fridge while you prepare other things 5. Put the garlic cloves in a mortar and smash them into a paste. You can also use a garlic press to do this. We want the garlic to be in a paste form as it will cling to the cucumber much better

6. Add the rest of the ingredients for the seasonings to the cucumber along with the garlic. Toss to make sure the seasonings coat the cucumber pieces 7. Try to finish on the same day as leftover will make the salad watery, especially after seasonings have been added to the cucumbers Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜

Important tips

1. Pat the cucumbers dry after washing 2. Use the side of the cleaver or a pestle or a side of knife to smash on the cucumber 3-4 times. This is just to “crack” the cucumber open. Don’t break them into pieces. The purpose of doing this is to let the cucumber better absorbs the seasonings 3. Use a garlic press or a heavy object to pound on the garlic I don’t recommend mincing the garlic with a knife. The garlic won’t blend in as well as if you turn them into a paste. Using a garlic press or a heavy object to pound the garlic into a paste is highly recommended 4. Don’t mix the cucumbers with seasonings until when you are ready to serve If you mix them way ahead of time, the whole dish will turn watery 5. It is recommended to keep the seasonings separate from the cucumbers if you prepare in bigger batch 6. You can chill the cucumber slices in the fridge for few hours before tossing with the sauce and serve

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Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜

Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜

Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad 拍黄瓜

Prep Time 15 mins

Total Time 15 mins

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Ingredients 

Garnish:

  • Toasted white sesame seeds

Instructions 

Prepare the cucumber:

  • I highly recommend using mini cucumber, Persian cucumber, or English cucumber. They are crunchy and with small seeds and the skin is thin. Perfect to make a salad dish like this

  • If all you have is a regular cucumber, you can still make this dish, just know that the result won't be as good

  • Wash the cucumbers clean and pat them dry. Trim off both ends of the cucumber. If you use English cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise and then cut it into two shorter pieces. If the seeds are large, you can scoop the seeds out. Keep the skin. Use the side of the cleaver or knife to smack on the cucumber about 3-4 times just to crack them open a bit. This can be a bit messy as the juice will splatter out a bit. We don't want to smack too much that we break the cucumbers into pieces

  • Cut the cucumbers at a diagonal angle for an attractive presentation. Put all the cucumbers in a large bowl. Add all the salt and let them marinate for about 5 minutes. The salt draws out water from the cucumber. Discard the liquid. Cover and keep the cucumber chilled in the fridge while you prepare other things

Prepare the seasonings:

  • Put the garlic cloves in a mortar and smash them into a paste. You can also use a garlic press to do this. We want the garlic to be in a paste form as it will cling to the cucumber much better

  • If not serving immediately, mix the garlic with soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, chili oil, and sesame oil in a separate bowl. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days

When ready to serve:

  • Only pour the seasonings over the cucumber and toss when you are ready to serve the salad. If you pour the seasonings too early and let them sit for too long, the salad will be more "watery". Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and toss again. Serve

  • Try to finish on the same day as leftover will make the salad watery, especially after seasonings have been added to the cucumbers

Nutrition

Serving: 2 servings as a side dish Calories: 185 kcal Carbohydrates: 4 g Protein: 1 g Fat: 18 g Saturated Fat: 3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g Monounsaturated Fat: 12 g Sodium: 1914 mg Potassium: 38 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 2 g Vitamin A: 1 IU Vitamin C: 2 mg Calcium: 14 mg Iron: 1 mg

Marvellina

Marvellina is a food blogger, recipe developer, photographer, and publisher at What To Cook Today. A food blog that brings you tried and true Asian recipes.