15 Minute Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad (VIDEO)

5 from 12 votes
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This Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad (or sometimes simply called Asian Cucumber Salad) is super light, refreshing, and the perfect side to your favorite Asian dishes! I love the crunch of the cucumbers and how the delicious flavors of the light dressing creeps into all those cracks and crevices of the smashed cucumbers! Not only is it fun and satisfying to make but it comes together in only 15 minutes!

Chinese smashed cucumber salad plated in a round bowl.

By now, you probably can tell that I am obsessed with cucumber salads! In Chinese culture, it is believed that cucumbers can cleanse and detoxify your body. I just love how they taste! One of my most popular recipes is a copycat Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad. I personally LOVE my 10 Minute Korean Cucumber Salad – it’s so light and refreshing, with just enough spice. If you want to have fun with your food, I highly recommend making my slinky Chili Garlic Cucumber Salad. It’s always a hit!

Check out the Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad recipe video below!

Ingredient Tips for Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

What Type of Cucumber Should I Use?

For Chinese/Asian Smashed Cucumber Salad, I recommend using either Persian or English cucumbers for a few reasons:

  • They are seedless. I personally do not like seeds in my Asian cucumber salads and try to remove them when possible.
  • Persian and English cucumbers are typically sweeter and contain less water than regular cucumbers. This will result in a more crisp salad when marinated in the delicious dressing!

You can find either of these types of cucumbers at your local grocery and they should be readily available. If for some reason you can’t find either of these types of cucumbers, regular cucumbers will work as well for your Smashed Cucumber Salad.

Whole cucumbers and cucumber rounds on a cutting board.

Ingredients

I love how simple this recipe is – you don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a delicious Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad! The incredibly tasty dressing comes together super quickly, all with items you probably already have in your pantry. Here is what you will need:

  • Cucumbers – I recommend Persian or English cucumbers.
  • Soy Sauce – this is “light” or “all-purpose” soy sauce; do not use dark soy sauce, as it is too thick and sweet for this recipe!
  • Rice Vinegar – if you do not have any rice vinegar on hand, you can substitute with mirin or apple cider vinegar.
  • Sugar
  • Grated Garlic
  • Sesame Oil
  • Grated Ginger (optional): this is an optional ingredient but I like to add grated ginger for a nice zing!

Recipe Instructions: Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

1. Prepare Your Dressing

In a large bowl (large enough to hold the smashed cucumbers), mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Set aside.

2. Prepare Your Cucumbers

Wash your Persian or English cucumbers well.

After washing your cucumbers, wipe them down to remove any excess water and prevent from watering down the salad. The cucumbers are already high in water content, so we want to avoid any more water!

Slice your cucumbers into 1.5″ pieces.

This is the fun part of making Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad!

Take the flat side of your knife and smash each cucumber piece. (I like to use my cleaver.) If you don’t feel comfortable using a knife, you can use a mallet or rolling pin. The cucumber pieces should smash easily and flatten.

KEY TIP

Prevent a Watery Cucumber Salad!

To further prevent your Smashed Cucumber Salad from being too watery, I like to scrape out some of the inner seeds and flesh of the cucumber and discard. Once the cucumbers are prepared to your liking, you’re ready to make your dressing!

3. Marinate the Cucumbers

Add the smashed cucumbers into the bowl with dressing. Mix together well and then set aside for at least 10 minutes to marinate. Eat your Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad straight away or let them continue marinating in the fridge for up to 3 days and eat them during the week!

Chinese smashed cucumber salad in a round bowl.

PRO TIPS

Expert Tips for Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

What Kind of Cucumbers Should I Use?

I recommend Persian or English cucumbers. This is due to two reasons:

  • They are seedless. I personally do not like seeds in my Asian cucumber salads and try to remove them when possible.
  • Persian and English cucumbers are typically sweeter and contain less water than regular cucumbers. This will result in a more crisp salad when marinated in the delicious dressing!

Wipe Down Your Cucumbers Well

After washing your cucumbers, wipe them down to remove any excess water and prevent from watering down the salad. The cucumbers are already high in water content, so we want to avoid any more water diluting the delicious dressing!

Smash With Caution

I like to smash my cucumbers with the flat side of my knife (cleaver). However, if you have not used this technique before or are not comfortable, please do not use your knife! You can use anything heavy to smash your cucumbers. Here are some other kitchen tools you can use:

  • Meat mallet
  • Rolling pin
  • Pestle
  • A clean can

Scrape Out Inner Seeds and Flesh

This is purely optional but I like to take one extra step to further prevent my Smashed Cucumber Salad from being too watery. After smashing the cucumber pieces, I like to scrape out some of the inner seeds and flesh of the cucumber and discard.

Storage

Chinese Cucumber Salad can be made in under 10 minutes and then stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. It’s perfect to enjoy during the week, especially in the summer! It’s cooling, refreshing, and added bonus: super fun to make! The smashing of the cucumbers (while can be skipped) is sometimes a great stress reliever 🙂

What to Serve with Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

The flavors of this Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad are so versatile, it’ll go with almost anything! If you want to make it spicier, I would drizzle my homemade chili oil on top!

I would personally eat it with spicy food because of the cooling effect of the cucumber – it would go great with the mouth numbing flavors of Mapo Tofu or Dan Dan Noodles! If you feel like noodles, try my Spicy Peanut Noodles, Sesame Peanut Noodles, or Cold Sesame Noodles!

If you tried this Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!

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5 from 12 votes

Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

Servings: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chinese smashed cucumber salad plated in a round bowl.
This Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad is a classic Chinese appetizer that's sweet, savory and so refreshing!

Ingredients 

  • 2 lb cucumber, Persian or English
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated, optional

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, ginger and sesame oil.
  • Cut cumbers into 1.5" pieces; carefully smash them with the large end of your knife. Remove the inner flesh and seeds from each piece of cucumber.
  • Add the smashed cucumbers to the dressing and mix together. Marinate for 10 minutes. Serve!

Notes

KEY TIPS:
I recommend Persian or English cucumbers. This is due to two reasons:
  • They are seedless. I personally do not like seeds in my Asian cucumber salads and try to remove them when possible.
  • Persian and English cucumbers are typically sweeter and contain less water than regular cucumbers. This will result in a more crisp salad when marinated in the delicious dressing!
Wipe Down Your Cucumbers Well: After washing your cucumbers, wipe them down to remove any excess water and prevent from watering down the salad. The cucumbers are already high in water content, so we want to avoid any more water diluting the delicious dressing!
Smash With Caution: I like to smash my cucumbers with the flat side of my knife (cleaver). However, if you have not used this technique before or are not comfortable, please do not use your knife! You can use anything heavy to smash your cucumbers. Here are some other kitchen tools you can use:
  • Meat mallet
  • Rolling pin
  • Pestle
  • A clean can
Scrape Out Inner Seeds and Flesh: This is optional but highly recommended! I like to take one extra step to further prevent my Smashed Cucumber Salad from being too watery. After smashing the cucumber pieces, I like to scrape out some of the inner seeds and flesh of the cucumber and discard.

Storage

Chinese Cucumber Salad can be made in under 10 minutes and then stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. It’s perfect to enjoy during the week, especially in the summer! It’s cooling, refreshing, and added bonus: super fun to make! The smashing of the cucumbers (while can be skipped) is sometimes a great stress reliever 🙂

Nutrition

Calories: 81kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 799mgPotassium: 339mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 163IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this Cucumber salad!!! So crisp and refreshing and super easy to make! It’s fun to smash the cucumber too.. just make sure to do it in the sink with an apron on… it can get a little messy 😉 but so worth it!