Rating: 4.67 stars
67 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 53
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0

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. But this salad is one of my all-time favorite cold summer side dishes. 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.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 15 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • Sprinkle cucumber with sugar and salt; mix until well combined. Refrigerate bowl and strainer for 30 to 60 minutes so cucumber pieces can drain into the bowl.

  • Place garlic, seasoned rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Whisk together thoroughly.

  • Transfer drained cucumbers into bowl with dressing. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle.

  • Place cucumbers in serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Chef's Note:

In place of seasoned rice vinegar you can use plain rice vinegar and add an extra pinch of salt and sugar to the dressing.

Nutrition Facts

29 calories; protein 1.3g; carbohydrates 3.5g; fat 1.4g; sodium 530.2mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (41)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/22/2017
I had no idea what an English Cucumber was ... had seen them, but never tried them. I have tried many of Chef John's recipes. And have always enjoyed them ... so I decided to try this one. I followed the recipe as is ... I did not have anything but my hammer fist to beat the cucumbers (which came wrapped in plastic from the store). After beating them ... I rinsed them off and followed the rest of the recipe. I did not know how much crushed pepper to use so I used 1-teaspoon ... which was just right (for me). This dish was awesome!!! Thank you Chef John!!! I will save this and share this recipe with everyone ... kudos! Read More
(7)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/03/2019
To be fair, I made LOTS of changes: First, the cucumbers were not smashed until after I cut them into cubes because I did it already and then looked up a recipe for cucumbers salads...I added some erythritol sweetner (1 TBSP) because I thought I might like it better if it were a little sweet, and I did. I also used some roasted and salted sunflower seeds because I didn't have any peanuts. They were quite good in this. It was not a hit at our Labor Day gathering, but it wasn't a complete bust either. I was just looking to use up a surplus cucumber, so it was ok. Read More
67 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 53
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 6
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/15/2017
I have made smashed cucumbers before, but I used cumin, lime and cilantro to season them. This version was pretty tasty as well. I served these to accompany Chinese carry out. They were good enough to just spoon over the rice and eat as a main dish! And they went nicely with chicken and ribs from the grill. I used Persian cucumbers from my garden to make this dish several times over the summer. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
06/22/2017
I had no idea what an English Cucumber was ... had seen them, but never tried them. I have tried many of Chef John's recipes. And have always enjoyed them ... so I decided to try this one. I followed the recipe as is ... I did not have anything but my hammer fist to beat the cucumbers (which came wrapped in plastic from the store). After beating them ... I rinsed them off and followed the rest of the recipe. I did not know how much crushed pepper to use so I used 1-teaspoon ... which was just right (for me). This dish was awesome!!! Thank you Chef John!!! I will save this and share this recipe with everyone ... kudos! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
07/22/2017
LOVE IT! The traditionally Asian ingredients of the dressing give this salad a unique personality and the smashing technique really IS fun! A great change from sour cream-and-dill-based cucumber salads (although we like those, too)! Read More
(5)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/03/2018
I used a little more sesame oil have made this for every pot luck since it posted. I'm making it again today. It's so delicious and simple. Read More
(2)
Rating: 4 stars
09/19/2017
I would use half the garlic next time. Read More
(1)
Rating: 4 stars
06/24/2018
Great salad and easy to make. Let cucumbers rest for several hours in salt and sugar to extract excess water. One English cucumber per person Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/08/2018
this was absolutely delicious.. we made this with a regular cucumber and unseasoned rice vinegar.. i'm not sure if smashing did much of anything but we felt letting the cucumber drain with sugar and kosher salt really made a huge difference.. i'll definitely be doing that more often when making cucumber salads.. ty so much for the recipe Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
08/26/2019
I am new to cooking , I loved it, my kids loved it. The only question I had and was do you rinse the cucumbers after they have been draining and covered with salt and sugar.Do you rinse the cucumbers and then add it to the dressing. I didn't because it didn't say so, I don't know if it is common knowledge to do so (rinse), but it was very delicious. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
06/27/2018
I love this recipe so refreshing and light at the same time! Thank you Chef John! Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
09/03/2019
To be fair, I made LOTS of changes: First, the cucumbers were not smashed until after I cut them into cubes because I did it already and then looked up a recipe for cucumbers salads...I added some erythritol sweetner (1 TBSP) because I thought I might like it better if it were a little sweet, and I did. I also used some roasted and salted sunflower seeds because I didn't have any peanuts. They were quite good in this. It was not a hit at our Labor Day gathering, but it wasn't a complete bust either. I was just looking to use up a surplus cucumber, so it was ok. Read More