The way how Chinese people make cucumber salad is that you have to smashed the cucumber first. Believe it or not, it tastes the best.
- 300 grams of cucumber, smashed
- 3/4 tsp of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 2-3 pieces of Thai bird eye chilies
- 2-3 tbsp of diced cilantro
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of vinegar
- 1 tbsp of hot chili oil
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of sesame oil
It is best to use either these mini or long skinny cucumbers because they have tender seeds and skin, which works great for this recipe. If you are using the fatter kind, you may want to remove the seeds and the skin first.
a picture of all 3 cucumbers
a picture of all 3 cucumbers cut surface
As the name suggested, the most important step is to smash the cucumber. I am using a cleaver. The wide blade and heavy-duty weight make it perfect for this job. You can also use a rolling pin, a tenderizer, or your fist. Just smash with quite a lot of force until the cucumber starts to split along the length. The smashing creates lots of bruises, which allows the seasonings to infuse into the cucumber. That’s why it tastes so good. Even if you are not making this recipe, you should always use this technique for other cucumber salads.
Cut the cucumber diagonally into 2 inches long pieces.For those of you are wondering where did I get this cleaver. It is part of a knife set that I launched recently at an affordable price. If you are interested,check the link in the description.
Season the cucumber with 3/4 tsp of salt. Toss thoroughly and set it aside for 15 minutes.
smashing the cucumber
cut the cucumber into short pieces,
toss or mix the cucumber with salt
During this time, you can make the dressing. Combine the grated garlic, diced cilantro, diced Thai bird eye chilies, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of hot chili oil, 1 tbsp of vinegar, 1/2 tsp of sugar, and 1 tsp of sesame oil.
show the sauce after everything is added
show both vinegar bottles in one picture. If not, show them in 2 different pictures.
For authenticity, I should use Chinese black vinegar but considering most of you don’t have access to buy it, I am using apple cider vinegar, and it works well because a slight fruity flavor accomplishes with the cucumber.
The salt should draw out some moisture from the cucumber. Lightly squeeze and discard that. Otherwise, it will dilute the seasoning.
squeeze the cucumber
show the excess liquid
Mix the cucumber with the dressing and toss thoroughly. This side dish is simple but delivers in flavor. You can prepare in no time, and you don’t even need to turn on your stove. It is the best cucumber salad and trusts me, it will be gone as soon as you put it out on the table. You can make this salad ahead of time and keep the cucumber and the dressing separate in the fridge. Mix it right before serving.