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diced cucumbers in a black bowl with a spoon in it—set on a table with cilantro

Chinese-Inspired Smashed Cucumber Salad

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (5 cups) 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: No-cook
  • Cuisine: Asian


Savory, refreshing and simple. This smashed cucumber salad is flavored with ginger, garlic, and toasted sesame oil. It's great for warm weather or served alongside asian glazed meatballs, salmon or chicken.


  • 2 pounds thin-skinned cucumbers, such as English or Persian cucumbers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce*
  • 2 teaspoons honey*
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh garlic 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 3 tablespoons sliced scallions


On a cutting board, smash cucumbers using a mallet, rolling pin, or heel of your hand, until cracked and smashed. 

Cut smashed cucumbers into 1-inch chunks; transfer to a colander set over a large bowl, toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let cucumbers drain 20–30 minutes. 

Discard released liquid. In now-empty bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, soy sauce, honey,  ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes. 

Add cucumber, cilantro and scallions and toss to combine.

Season with salt and additional red pepper flakes to taste. 


This side dish recipe is best served right away and cold or at room temperature. It can be made up to a couple hours ahead of, wait to add cilantro and scallions until right before serving. 

CUCUMBERS: use 2 large English cucumbers, 4 medium English cucumbers, or 8–10 Persian cucumbers.

GLUTEN-FREE: to ensure this salad is gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free soy sauce.

VEGAN: use granulated white sugar, agave syrup, or maple syrup instead of honey.

Keywords: smashed cucumber salad, Chinese smashed cucumber salad, chinese cucumber salad

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