Sunday, June 26, 2011

asian smashed cucumber salad

simple and fresh
This is a classic Taiwanese side dish.  My mom makes it all the time in the summer, it goes really well with BBQ and anytime you want a quick salad with minimal effort.  The cucumbers are smashed so that they can really soak up the dressing flavours - sweet, savoury, sour and a little kick of heat - delicious!

what you need:
*serves about 4
  • 8 mini cucumbers
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly minced
  • 1 small red chilli pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine, optional)
  • 1 tsp ponzu (citrus Japanese vinegar, optional)
what to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients (except cucumbers) in a large salad bowl.  Taste and adjust if required (e.g. add more soy for saltiness, more canola oil if too acidic)
  2. Cut tips off both ends of each cucumber.  You will need a knife with a wide side/face.  Place a cucumber in the centre of a big cutting board and smash it lengthwise with the side of the knife.  The cucumber will burst/crack - cut it into about 3 sections on a diagonal and then break it up a little bit with your fingers for a rustic look.  
  3. Toss all the smashed cucumbers in the salad bowl with the dressing and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes prior to serving to allow flavours to marry.  Serve alongside any BBQ protein or on it's own as a snack. Enjoy!


  1. Awesome dish and it will make my tennis game better just like physio treatments :-)


  2. PS...I'd add a few gummy bears for that yummy touch :-)

  3. simple and delicious and fresh