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Smashed Cucumber Salad

Smashed Cucumber Salad

Based on a traditional Chinese dish, pai huang gua”, this crispy salad is refreshing, delicious. and low in calories.

Serves 4.


  • 2 large garden cucumbers
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes


  1. Peel cucumbers, leaving thin “stripes” of green peel for color.
  2. Cut stem ends off; then cut cucumbers in 2-inch pieces. Place them on a large baking sheet.
  3. Smash each cucumber piece with a small, heavy skillet or meat mallot just once or twice, or until flattened and broken somewhat.
  4. Remove excess seeds and cut in bite-sized pieces.
  5. Place in a strainer over a bowl; sprinkle evenly with kosher salt. Allow to stand 30 minutes, draining off excess liquid.
  6. Place cucumbers in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Toss to combine. Add pinch of salt if needed.
  7. Cover and chill until served.

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