Asian Smashed Cucumber Salad

When you're staring at a pile of small cucumbers and you just don't have it in you to pickle them, make this recipe. Serve this ice cold as the start of a refreshing no-cook dinner on a hot summer night.
By / Photography By Jennifer Bakos | June 28, 2016

Ingredients

  • About 2 pounds thin-skinned small cucumbers, rinsed, halved and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or peanut oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce (like Huy Fong Foods)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preparation

Place several pieces of cucumber cut side down on a cutting board. Smash them with a heavy pan until the skin begins to crack, the flesh breaks down and the seeds separate. Repeat until all the cucumber pieces are smashed. Break the smashed pieces into bite-sized pieces and leave the seeds behind. Repeat until the whole piece is smashed. Break or slice diagonally.

Place cucumber pieces in a colander and toss with a ½ teaspoon each of kosher salt and sugar.

Let the cucumbers drain for at least 30 minutes but up to 4 hours.

In a large serving bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and rice vinegar until solids dissolve. Stir in sesame oil and soy sauce.

When ready to serve, shake cucumbers in colander over the sink to drain off any liquid and transfer to bowl with dressing. Drizzle cucumbers with grapeseed or peanut oil. Add garlic chili sauce and fish sauce if using. Toss well. Sprinkle mint and cilantro leaves over the salad. Toss lightly. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Ingredients

  • About 2 pounds thin-skinned small cucumbers, rinsed, halved and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or peanut oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce (like Huy Fong Foods)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
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