Does it seem that cucumbers repel whatever dressing you add? But not so fast! After testing and research, we found that smashing cukes helps to keep the flavors. The solution? Smashed cucumbers!
This Asian-inspired version is full of flavor, freshness, crunch, and savory. It’s a little spicy and has a lot of sesame and ginger. It’s also so easy — only ten ingredients and one dish are needed, as well as 10 min. We’ll show you exactly how to do it!
This Chinese cucumber salad has a similar dressing to Pai Huang Gua. It also includes a chili crisp or chili oil on top.
This version of the recipe is sweetened naturally with maple syrup and uses chili flakes instead of chili oil. It also takes inspiration from Japanese cuisine, with pickled ginger as a sweet-tangy ingredient.
How to make Smashed Cucumber salad
It is important to smash cucumbers so that the dressing will adhere better to the cucumber. This dressing, too? It’s a must to smother the cucumber. The tangy rice vinegar, fragrant garlic and ginger, and savory tamari achieve the perfect balance.
Let’s now talk about how you can smash this cucumber. Use a heavy skillet or a roller pin to press the cucumber. It is not the answer!
Two cloves of grated garlic
Ginger grated to 1 Tbsp
Use two tablespoons of rice vinegar (unseasoned/gluten-free if needed).
Use 2 Tbsp of tamari or soy sauce (if gluten-free, use gluten-free).
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp Maple Syrup
Red pepper flakes: 1/2 to 1 tsp, depending on your taste
Two large English cucumbers (two large cucumbers yield about 6 cups or 775g)
Green onion, three stalks, thinly sliced and trimmed
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
In a medium-sized serving bowl, whisk the garlic, ginger, and tamari together. Add maple syrup, sesame seed oil, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Cut each cucumber in half, lengthwise. Use a heavy skillet or a rolling pin to squish each half of the cucumber. Go for it! The cucumbers should be craggy. Cut each cucumber into slices between 1/2 inch and 1 inch after smashing. Add to your bowl along with the dressing.
Add the pickled ginger, green onion, and sesame seeds (optional). Toss well to coat.
Refrigerate for up to one hour before serving. Cold is best. It’s not freezer-friendly.