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Smashed Cucumber Salad


75 min

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashed Cucumber Salad Photo 1




75 min


6 persons




4.00 rating-star (77)


Author: Victoria Bailey
This smashed cucumber salad is one of my all-time favorite cold summer side dishes. By crushing our cucumber before we cut it, we produce flavors that un-smashed cukes can't. When you crush the cells in a vegetable, as opposed to cutting cleanly through them, certain compounds get mixed together, which can result in a significantly different flavor. In cucumbers, this is a good thing — onions, not so much. The only decision you're going to have to make is how long to let the cucumbers marinate — half an hour or so or not at all.


  • English cucumbers: 2 piece
  • kosher salt, plus more as needed: 1.5 tsp
  • white sugar: 1 tsp
  • garlic, finely crushed: 2 clove
  • seasoned rice vinegar: 2 Tbsp
  • soy sauce: 1 tsp
  • sesame oil: 1 tsp
  • red pepper flakes to taste: 0 piece
  • toasted sesame seeds: 2 tsp

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. Wrap each cucumber in plastic wrap to minimize splattering. Place on a work surface and pound with a flat object (like a meat pounder) until cucumbers crack and are slightly flattened. Remove from plastic. Cut cucumbers in half; halve each side lengthwise. Slice into 1- to 1 1/2 -inch wide slices. Transfer to a strainer set over a bowl.
    Smashed Cucumber Salad Photo 2
  2. Sprinkle cucumber with salt and sugar; mix until well combined. Refrigerate the bowl and strainer for 30 to 60 minutes so cucumber pieces can drain into the bowl.
    Smashed Cucumber Salad Photo 3
  3. Place garlic, seasoned rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl; whisk together thoroughly.
    Smashed Cucumber Salad Photo 4
  4. Transfer drained cucumbers into the bowl with dressing. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle.
    Smashed Cucumber Salad Photo 5
  5. Place cucumbers in a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
    Smashed Cucumber Salad Photo 6

History of the Smashed Cucumber Salad: Smashed cucumber salad originated in China, where cucumbers are a staple in many dishes. This particular technique of smashing the cucumbers to release their flavors has been used for centuries in Chinese cuisine. The dish gained popularity in the Western world due to its refreshing taste and ease of preparation.

Tips and Tricks for Smashed Cucumber Salad Recipe: First, use English cucumbers as they have fewer seeds and a firmer texture. Second, make sure to wrap the cucumbers in plastic wrap before smashing them to avoid making a mess. Third, refrigerate the cucumbers with salt and sugar so they can release excess water and become more flavorful. Fourth, whisk the dressing ingredients thoroughly to ensure even coating of the cucumbers. Lastly, let the salad marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Tips for presenting the dish: To add some color and texture, you can include sliced scallions, cilantro, or thinly sliced red onions. You can also top the salad with crushed peanuts for added crunch. Serve the salad chilled in a large bowl or individual plates. This salad pairs well with grilled meats, seafood, or tofu. Enjoy as a refreshing summer side dish or as a light lunch.

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