Smacked Cucumber Salad (拍黄瓜)
Smashed cucumber salad is simple and can be prepared in no time. You don't even need to turn on your stove. If you want to make this salad ahead of time, keep the cucumber and the dressing separate in the fridge and mix them right before serving. This is the best cucumber salad because the smashing creates many bruises and allows the seasonings to infuse into the cucumber.
Smash the cucumber with a heavy-duty cleaver until the cucumber starts to split along the length. Then cut the cucumber diagonally into 2 inches long pieces. If you don't have a cleaver, please use a rolling pin, a meat tenderizer, or your fist. It is best to use cucumbers that have thin skin and tender seeds; otherwise, you have to remove the seeds and peel the skin for better texture.
- Season the cucumber with salt for 15 minutes to draw out some moisture. Then, squeeze the cucumber and discard the excess liquid.
- To make the dressing, combine the grated garlic, cilantro,Thai bird eye chilies, soy sauce, hot chili oil, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.
- Mix the cucumber with the dressing and toss thoroughly. For authenticity, we use Chinese black vinegar. However, considering it is not easy to find outside China, apple cider vinegar will be the best option as the slight fruity flavor accomplishes the cucumber well.