Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad (Super Crunchy)
Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad is the perfect year round Paleo/Whole30/Keto side dish. The cucumbers are crunchy and garlicky. Every bite is so refreshing. Add this Chinese Cucumber Salad to your everyday easy homemade meal. They will bring new exciting flavor to your dinner table!
Summer Must! Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad
Looking for a perfect easy side dish ? Then you certainly don’t want to miss my Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad ! They are quick, healthy, and very economical. There’s a reason why these garlicky smashed cucumbers are the most popular side dish in Taiwan and China.
I first shared my Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad almost a year ago along with two other Asian side dishes. I stuffed three recipes in one blog post and later on realized that made it difficult for my readers to search the recipe. So today I revisit this popular Chinese Cucumber Salad recipe – with new photos and modified instructions to make it even better!
How to select crunchy cucumbers – Tips from my mom
- Look for outer interior with no bruises or soft spots
- Look for cucumbers that are in even tube and slander shape so the seeds inside will be minimal
- Look for bright green color and with a firm texture.
- Ideally, the mini Persian cucumbers are the best but English cucumbers will do.
Tips for extra crunchy smashed cucumber
Halve the cucumber in half and use a small teaspoon to scoop out the seeds like the pictures above. The cucumbers will be more crunchy and less watery. You can save the seeds for morning smoothie or beauty drinks.
I roughly dice/chop the cucumbers to diagonal shape to create uneven angles. When you smash them (with a bottle or meat pounder, and in my case I just used a garlic smasher), some parts will crack while others won’t and that create different texture in the mouthfeel. Try not to smash them too hard or they will become a mushy mess.
Sprinkle with salt and use your hands to gently rub the salt in. Set aside in the fridge for 15 minutes (up to 30 mins). The salt will draw liquid out of cucumbers. This process is similar to my Korean Chilled Zucchini Sides. Season with grated garlic and vinegar. There’s no need to add salt. Give them a quick toss and you’ll have a beautiful plate of Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad !
They taste better when chilled and freshly made so enjoy them right away. If you happen to make extra, store them in the fridge. I recommend finishing them the next day. You’ll notice some liquid in the container after sitting in the fridge overnight but it should not affect the taste. Play around with the seasonings – add more salt or vinegar to your liking.
So my friends this Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad is –
New exciting flavor
Perfect side dish
Paleo, Whole30, Keto, and AIP
I guarantee you are gonna love this Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad. Let me know how it goes! Leave a comment and rate the recipe. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #IHeartUmami on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. XOXO !
Easy Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad (Paleo, Whole30, Keto, AIP)
- 14 Oz. Persian mini cucumbers, (alt. 1 large English cucumber)
- 1/2 + 1/8 tsp Coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tbsp Grated garlic
- 4 tsp Rice vinegar, (alt. 3 tsp apple cider vinegar)
- 1-2 tsp Toasted sesame oil, (optional)
- Rinse and pat dry the cucumbers. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Use a small teaspoon to scoop out the seeds. Set the seeds aside for another use.
- Roughly chop the cucumbers in diagonal shape (about 1.5-inch length). You want to create some uneven angles. They don’t need to be in uniform shape. Place the chopped cucumbers in a large ziplock bag. Seal the bag and lightly smash the cucumbers with a flat bottom bottle or meat pounder. The skin will begin to crack.
- Sprinkle ½ + ⅛ tsp coarse salt and use your hands to gently rub the salt into each cucumber pieces. Sat them aside in the fridge for 15 minutes (up to 30 minutes). Discard the water. There’s no need to rinse the cucumbers.
- Toss the cucumbers with grated garlic, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. Taste and make seasoning adjustments (more salt, garlic, or vinegar) to your liking. Best serve immediately chilled or store extra in the fridge and finish them the next day.
Love side dishes ? Be sure to check out my Paleo Asian Side Dishes, Korean Chilled Zucchini Sides, Lemon Garlic Broccoli Florets, Paleo Whole30 Easy Kimchi, and Herb Stuffed Mushrooms !
More Cucumber Recipes!
- Asian Cucumber Salad (Ding Tai Fung Style!)
- Japanese cucumber salad
- Keto Shrimp with avocado cucumber salad
- Moo Shu Chicken (yes the real one uses cucumber!)
- Japanese Potato Salad with ham, cucumbers, and eggs
- Cucumber noodles Thai peanut Sauce Bowl
Amazing! Zingy and vibrant. Also, so easy! The perfect accompaniment for a bolt of fresh flavour.
I love how you describe it! 😀
I love this refreshing and simple cucumber salad!
I was sold at the word ‘Easy’ – thanks for catering for those like me who appreciate that simplicity. Thank you!
Love this simple and refreshing salad!
I love how simple this is, just great flavors! I’ve never had smashed cucumber salad before, but I already know it’s going to be a hit!
I love the simplicity – my kids will like that. They really love cucumbers!
What a creative and delicious idea! Thank you!
I’ve once had a similar salad at a restaurant and was wondering how they did the cucumber so it’s so tender. I thought it might have been cooked. Now I know! This was really simple to do and resulted in a very tasty side dish for our grilled chicken.
Thank you, Irena !
I love a simple cucumber salad. Your version looks so good. making it tonight with dinner. I have a ton of Persian cucs for the Farmer’s market.
What an interesting recipe! I’ve never heard of this salad but it sounds so refreshing and delicious.
It’s not very often there is something new in the cooking world for me, but I am so excited to learn this salad from you. I have never seen it before, and I love the idea. My neighbor keeps giving us cukes, and we love them. Can’t wait to try this!!
I haven’t ever had it before but it sounds so good! I love that you take the seeds out, that’s what I always do, but I’ve never thought to use your method. I can’t wait to try this.