With the winter months over, I thought it’d be nice to share this smashed cucumber salad which is one of my favourite recipes to fight the summer heat. This Chinese garlic cucumber salad is tangy, nutty and refreshing, and is a great way to cool yourself down from the weather (or from spicy food which is why this is popular in Sichuan cuisine where mala spicy food is popular). So you may be asking, why are we smashing our cucumbers?
As covered in the video, smashing our cucumbers creates craggy pockets and gaps for the cucumbers to absorb more sauce (which means that the cucumbers can pick up more flavours). To further enhance this dish, we will give the cucumbers a light pickling to draw out the excess moisture which would have otherwise diluted the sauces that we will add to the dish. This Chinese style pickled cucumber recipe has been a hit with my friends and family for years, so learn how to make it today and you’ll be addicted for life!
How To Make Smashed Cucumber Salad At Home You will need: 0.5lb (or 225g) large cucumbers 0.5 tsp sugar 0.5 tsp salt 3 garlic cloves, finely minced 1 tbsp scallions, finely chopped 1 fresh chilli 1 tbsp black vinegar 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil 1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds 1 tbsp coriander Steps: 1) Chill your cucumbers in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Once your cucumbers are sufficiently chilled, take them out of the fridge and wrap them with cling wrap (or some kitchen towels to avoid waste). 2) With the back of your blade or a blunt heavy object (like a frying pan), give the cucumbers a few good firm smacks to crush them. This increases the surface area to volume ratio which will help pickle the cucumbers faster and help the cucumbers absorb the sauce better later on. 3) Now slice the smashed cucumbers into bite sized pieces and place them over a colander and a bowl. 4) Sprinkle your salt and sugar evenly over the cucumbers and good it a good mix. Place the cucumbers into your fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the cucumbers to pickle. 5) After 30 minutes, you will see the excess moisture in the cucumbers drawn out from the cucumbers. Discard the excess liquid (this would have otherwise diluted your sauce). 6) Place the cucumbers in a bowl and add the minced garlic, scallions and chilli flakes. 7) Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and pour it over the minced garlic, scallions and chilli flakes. 8) Add your black vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds. 9) Toss well and allow to marinate for another 30 minutes before serving.