Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad recipe

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Looking for a delicious and refreshing side dish that can complement any meal? Try the Chinese smashed cucumber salad recipe! This salad will tantalize your taste buds with its crispy texture and tangy soy and vinegar dressing. And with the added garnish of sesame seeds and cilantro, it’s also visually appealing.

The best part? This salad is incredibly easy to make! You only need a few minutes to prepare it, yet the flavors are packed and will leave you wanting more. Not only is it tasty, but it’s also a healthy option to include in your meal.

Pair this salad with jasmine rice, noodles, or any other rice recipe to take it to the next level. It’s an excellent way to enhance the flavors and make it a more substantial meal.

So, what are you waiting for? Follow our ultimate guide, which includes ingredients and storage techniques, to make this fantastic side dish. And trust us, once you’ve tasted it, you won’t be able to resist making it repeatedly!

Why Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad?

This Chinese smashed cucumber salad is the perfect side to have for many reasons, including;

  • Cucumber is known for its cleansing and detoxifying properties, which can benefit your blood and skin.
  • If you suffer from high blood pressure, incorporating cucumbers into your diet can help lower it.
  • This salad is perfect for summertime, as cucumbers are known for their cooling effects on the body.
  • The salad is also great for maintaining the internal heat of your body.
  • With its easy-to-make recipe and medicinal benefits, this salad can become your anytime snack.
  • In China, many people enjoy this salad as a quick and healthy snack while walking or riding buses or trains.
  • It’s not just China; many Asian and American countries also make this salad during the cucumber growing season.

Other Salad Options

Ingredients For Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

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Here is a complete detail of the ingredients used to make this Chinese smashed cucumber salad;

  • 2 pounds of cucumber
  • 1 tsp of granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 tsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 and a half tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2 tsp toasted with sesame seed for garnishing
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Red pepper flakes, according to taste
  • 2 Green chilis
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil

Ingredients Notes

Preparing Cucumber

First, if you’re using cucumbers from China or Japan, you’ll likely need a heavy knife to smack them.

Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

Begin by slicing the cucumber in half lengthwise. Then, take your heavy knife and place it on the cucumber. Use the fleshy part of your palm to hit the blade until you see the cucumber splitting. Repeat smacking the cucumber from all sides until it is sufficiently smashed.

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Once you’ve smacked all of your cucumbers, add them to a separate bowl.

Smash Garlic

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Now take 2 large cloves of garlic and peel them off. Put the knife over these cloves and smack on the blade; this will smack the garlic. Take the same knife and start to chop the garlic finely.

Green Chili

Take 2 green chillis and chop them finely into 2 to 4 pieces.

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Salting Cucumber

You can also salt the cucumber if you want to. For this purpose, toss some salt on the cucumber, rest for 15 to 20 minutes, and let the salt draw the excess moisture. To prevent your salad from being watery, you can add salt.

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Vinegar Or Soy Sauce

You can choose between vinegar or soy sauce and add whatever you want. The Chinese version contains black vinegar, but you can choose between soy sauce or vinegar. If you don’t like your salad tangy, add less vinegar and more soy sauce or vice versa.

Cucumber Tips

There are different types of cucumbers; the best ones to use are the Persian cucumbers. You can use these cucumbers interchangeably in the recipe. Ensure your cucumbers are thin-skinned, so you don’t need to peel them off before use.

Tips to Make the Best Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

Dry The Cucumbers

After washing them, dry your cucumbers and remove the excess water. Don’t add water to your salad. The cucumbers are already very high in water content, so you must prevent adding more water.

Remove the Inside Flesh

After removing the excess water, you can also remove some of the flesh of the cucumber by using a spoon.

Storage

You can keep it in an airtight container and prevent extra moisture from entering the container if you want to keep it in the refrigerator.

Optional Ginger

If you like its taste, add ginger, garlic, and cucumber.

Salting

Always add salt to your cucumber before dressing, enhancing the dish’s overall flavor.

Let It Rest

When you prepare the dish, let it rest for a few minutes before serving. You can also garnish with some chili oil if you like.

How To Make Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad?

Here is a step-by-step guide to making the best Chinese smashed cucumber salad;

Step 1:

After choosing the right type of cucumber, the next step is to wash them properly and remove any dirt or debris from the cucumber.

Cut the cucumber into pieces of approximately 4 inches and then cut each piece of cucumber into half-length.

Step 2:

Place the cucumber on the cutting board and cut them from the side down. Place the knife blade over one of the cucumbers and smash down with your palm onto the knife.

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The skin will start to crack, seeds will come out, and flesh will break down. Repeat this step until the whole cucumber breaks down diagonally into pieces and the grains separate.

Step 3:

Now, place the pieces of cucumber into a strainer and toss some kosher salt and sugar on the cucumber. Cover the filter tightly and place the strainer over a bowl. Let the strainer drain all the water completely for 15 to 30 minutes. It will also give some time for the cucumber to absorb the flavors of salt and sugar into it completely. You can add the bowl to a refrigerator and wait for 4 hours before you serve the dish.

Step 4:

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It’s time to make the dressing for the salad; take a small bowl, add sugar, salt, and vinegar, and mix well until all the sugar and salt get mixed. Now, add sesame oil and some soy sauce. Mix the whole mixture thoroughly.

Step 5:

Take the cucumbers out of the fridge, shake them off finely to remove the extra water, and then transfer them into the serving bowl. Add some olive oil and keep tossing the whole mixture. Mix half the dressing in the serving bowl and keep tossing and mixing. Also, add the garlic and red pepper flakes.

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Keep adding all the dressing and ensure the cucumber is well-coated with sauce. Taste the salad and add more salt or pepper if required. Serve the salad immediately and garnish with some cilantro and sesame seeds.

Serving Instructions

Chinese smashed cucumber salad is best known for serving different main courses across China and Japan. Most of the dishes are noodles or rice recipes, but some great recipes and many techniques you can use for this cucumber salad include;

  • Mapo tofu
  • Kimchi jjigae
  • Eff fried rice and shrimp fried rice
  • Biangbiang noodles
  • Red braised pork

All these recipes are well-known Chinese cuisines; you can make this salad as a side dish with any of these dishes.

How To Store Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad?

This Chinese salad is best known to consume right making, but you can also enjoy it after hours of making it. The cucumber in this salad will taste fresh, and you can enjoy the crispiness after several hours of making it. But if you have some leftovers of this salad, you cannot leave it open. Keep the salad in an airtight container and then put it in the fridge; it will last for 2 days and then ruin and become inedible.

How To Freeze Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad?

It is better to use it fresh as soon as you make this salad, but if you have some leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container and use them within 3 to 4 days. You cannot freeze this salad as if you do; the cucumbers will become soggy and inedible on reheating. This salad is healthy and crispy if you eat it instantly. There is no need to freeze this salad; whenever you want to make it, toss the ingredients, and it is ready.

Reheating Instructions

Reheating cucumber salad is not essential as you can’t freeze this salad. You can add it to the fridge for 3 to 4 days after making it. When you remove it from the refrigerator, toss some sesame oil and mix it thoroughly for 2 to 3 minutes. The salad will be as good as new; no need to reheat.

Alternative Ingredients You May Try for Variation

Chinese smashed cucumber salad is highly versatile, and you can add some alternatives ingredients as well to make it more flavor and delicious; some of those ingredients include;

  • Green onion
  • Sesame seeds
  • Edamame
  • Maple syrup
  • Ginger
  • Chinese black vinegar
  • Homemade chili oil
  • Cilantro

Alternatives to Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

  1. Thai Smashed Cucumber Salad – This recipe is similar to the Chinese version but with a Thai twist. Start by smashing cucumbers with a rolling pin and then toss them with red onion, cilantro, and a dressing made with lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and chili flakes.
  2. Greek Smashed Cucumber Salad – This recipe combines the refreshing taste of cucumbers with the bold flavors of Greek cuisine. Smash cucumbers with a mallet and then mix them with chopped tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, and a dressing made with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano.
  3. Italian Smashed Cucumber Salad – This recipe is a Mediterranean twist on the classic Chinese dish. Smash cucumbers with a rolling pin and then toss them with sliced tomatoes, red onion, basil, and a dressing made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey.
  4. Korean Smashed Cucumber Salad – This recipe features the spicy and tangy flavors of Korean cuisine. Smash cucumbers with a rolling pin and then mix them with sliced garlic, scallions, and a dressing made with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and gochujang (Korean chili paste).
  5. Mexican Smashed Cucumber Salad – This recipe brings together the flavors of Mexico and pairs them with crunchy cucumbers. Smash cucumbers with a mallet and then mix them with diced tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, and a dressing made with lime juice, olive oil, and cumin.

FAQs

How To Prevent Cucumber Salad from Getting Soggy?

When you salt your cucumber, it will remove its excessive water. You need to ensure that you are salting the cucumber enough. This step will ensure that your cucumbers are crispy and not soggy.

What Can I Use Instead of Chinese Black Vinegar?

You don’t need to worry if you don’t have Chinese black vinegar. You can use rice vinegar; both vinegar flavors are identical. Your salad will turn out to be equally tasty and flavorful.

How Long Will This Keep For?

It is best to consume this salad as soon as you make it. When you keep this salad for a long, it will become soft. It is better to keep it in the fridge for a maximum of 1 day. But if you keep the leftovers in an airtight container, you can keep them inside the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, and after that, the salad will become inedible.

Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad recipe

Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

Muhammad Kashif
The smashed cucumber recipe is light, easy to make, and fullof flavors. It is a perfect dish to make in summer and contains deliciousflavors. This salad has an ideal dressing containing garlic, cilantro, andchili flakes. It would help if you made it, and you can enjoy this salad as aside dish along with many main courses.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 lb cucumber
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil
  • 2 tsp toasted with sesame seed for garnishing
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 Green chilis
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Red pepper flakes, according to taste

How to Make?

  • After choosing the right type of cucumber, the next step is to wash them properly and remove any dirt or debris from the cucumber.
    Cut the cucumber into pieces of approximately 4 inches and then cut each piece of cucumber into half-length.
  • Place the cucumber on the cutting board and cut them from the side down. Place the knife blade over one of the cucumbers and smash down with your palm onto the knife.
    The skin will start to crack, seeds will come out, and flesh will break down. Repeat this step until the whole cucumber breaks down diagonally into pieces and the grains separate.
  • Now, place the pieces of cucumber into a strainer and toss some kosher salt and sugar on the cucumber. Cover the filter tightly and place the strainer over a bowl.
    Let the strainer drain all the water completely for 15 to 30 minutes. It will also give some time for the cucumber to absorb the flavors of salt and sugar into it completely.
    You can add the bowl to a refrigerator and wait for 4 hours before you serve the dish.
  • It’s time to make the dressing for the salad; take a small bowl, add sugar, salt, and vinegar, and mix well until all the sugar and salt get mixed.
    Now, add sesame oil and some soy sauce. Mix the whole mixture thoroughly.
  • Take the cucumbers out of the fridge, shake them off finely to remove the extra water, and then transfer them into the serving bowl. Add some olive oil and keep tossing the whole mixture.
    Mix half the dressing in the serving bowl and keep tossing and mixing. Also, add the garlic and red pepper flakes.
  • Keep adding all the dressing and ensure the cucumber is well-coated with sauce. Taste the salad and add more salt or pepper if required.
    Serve the salad immediately and garnish with some cilantro and sesame seeds.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowlCalories: 71kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 837mgPotassium: 240mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 292IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg
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Muhammad Kashif is a passionate chef and a talented writer who has dedicated his life to the world of culinary arts. With years of experience, he shares insights on the latest kitchen gadgets and appliances, alongside delicious and easy-to-follow recipes for any skill level. Join Muhammad on his culinary journey and discover new ways to make your kitchen the heart of your home.