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Smashed Cucumber Salad

Chef John

"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."
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1 h 15 m servings 29 cals
Original recipe yields 6 servings

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  • Prep

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  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.
  2. 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.
  3. Place garlic, seasoned rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Whisk together thoroughly.
  4. Transfer drained cucumbers into bowl with dressing. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle.
  5. 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

Per Serving: 29 calories; 1.4 g fat; 3.5 g carbohydrates; 1.3 g protein; 0 mg cholesterol; 530 mg sodium. Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 11
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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 f...

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...

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 en...

I was skeptical at first but we loved Chef John's shaved asparagus salad so I thought what the heck, I'll smash a cucumber. It is very good. The cucumber stays crispy and there is just a tin...

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...

This was great, I added avocado to it.

This salad was so good! I love cucumbers, and this was such a fun way to prepare them. Even if you don't like cucumbers, I still suggest that you try this recipe and maybe it will convert you. I...

I would use half the garlic next time.

I have made this several times and each time its a hit. Be careful with the sesame oil, its very potent and too much can ruin the dish. I cut it down to 3/4 tsp. and I add a little extra swee...