SMASHED CUCUMBER SALAD — Fresh cucumbers are smashed then tossed in a sweet and spicy soy and ginger vinaigrette in this simple but unique Asian-inspired salad.
If you’re looking for an incredibly quick and easy salad with tons of flavor, you’ve got to try this sweet and spicy Smashed Cucumber Salad.
This salad is inspired by a Chineses side dish called pai huang gua that’s especially popular in the Sichuan province, and is often served as a cool side dish with spicy food.
Of course, you can also make the salad itself spicy if you’d like, by adding some red pepper flakes, or a dash of extra chili oil.
This is an amazingly versatile salad that goes with pretty much anything, and even makes a wonderful light lunch on a hot summer day.
I think the recipe works best with English cucumbers, which have a thinner skin. But regular cucumbers will work too, if that’s what you have on hand.
You might be wondering why in the world you’d want to smash your cucumbers? Well, there are a couple of very good reasons for this.
First of all, it’s fun–especially if you’ve had a stressful day. But the main reasons are to help expel excess water, and to creating irregular, craggy shapes that add texture and do a better job of holding onto the dressing.
This is a recipe where you’ll want to use high quality ingredients if possible, simply because this dish doesn’t have a lot of ingredients, so you want everything you’re using to taste amazing!
If you have a garden, this is the perfect recipe for highlighting any fresh, in-season cucumbers you might have grown. I serve this salad all year, but I especially love eating it on hot summer days.
If you love salads that don’t require a lot of chopping, and are loaded with flavor, then you’re going to love this Smashed Cucumber Salad.
Be sure to save this Smashed Cucumber Salad recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Smashed Cucumber Salad
- Produce: cucumbers, garlic, ginger, green onions, cilantro
- Salt and pepper
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Chili oil
- Sesame seeds
- 2 English cucumbers
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-2 tablespoons chili oil
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut each cucumber into pieces 2-3 inches long. Then cut each piece lengthwise into quarters to create four spears. Place the cucumber pieces cut side down on a cutting board and smash with the back of a chef's knife until the skin cracks and the flesh flattens.
- Place the smashed cucumbers in a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl, then add one teaspoon salt and the sugar and toss to combine. Let stand for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, honey and chili oil in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Press any excess water from the cucumbers in the strainer, then add the cucumbers to the bowl with the dressing and toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add the sesame seeds, green onions and cilantro and toss again before serving. Garnish with additional sesame seeds and chili oil, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1181mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g
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Who Dished It Up First: Adapted from Eitan Eats the World