This Smashed Cucumber Salad is a full of bold flavors and makes a great side dish for a warm weather meal. It can be made and stored in the refrigerator up to four hours ahead of time.
The smashing process can be a bit messy. I contained the splash by laying my cutting board in the sink.
- 2 pound Persian or English hothouse cucmbers
- 2 pinch kosher salt (plus more for seasoning if needed)
- 3 clove garlic (peeled and minced)
- 2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns (optional)
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
- 1–2 fresh red chilies (thinly sliced and seeded)
Rinse cucumbers and pat dry. If you’re working with Persian cucumbers leave them whole. English hothouse cucumbers should be cut crosswise into pieces about 4 inches long and halved lengthwise.
Arrange several cucumbers on a cutting board. Using a rolling pin, cleaver, or the bottom of a small skillet pound the cucumbers until their skins begin to crack, the flesh breaks into craggy pieces, and the seeds separate. Break into bite-sized chunks. Repeat with remaining cucumbers.
Leaving the seeds behind place the smashed cucumber chunks in a strainer set over a bowl and toss with a couple big pinches of salt. Let drain 15 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns (if using), rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and chili slices. Mix well then toss with the smashed cucumbers. Chill the salad at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning just before serving.