Chinese Cucumber Salad–Smashed Version

Chinese smashed cucumber salad with garlic, vinegar and sesame oil. This is one of the most popular homemade cold dishes in China, which only requires 5 minutes from preparation to table.

Cucumber is really great for summer. The cool and crispy taste can help us against the hot weather. There are many cold dishes in China which equals to salad in western centuries for example Chinese cabbage salad and cucumber salads.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

Usually we have two ways of making cucumber salad: one is to smash it and the other one is to pickle the cucumber for 1 or 2 hours.Smashed cucumber can absorb more sauce within the cucumber, as a result, having a compound and uniform taste. However pickled cucumber salad has two layers of taste. The first is the sauce, which is succeeded with the second layer—the fresh yet crispy taste from cucumber. I strong recommend you trying both ways if you love cucumber salad the same as me.

Following is the photo of spicy pickled cucumber salad.

Spicy pickled  cucumber salad

For the cucumber, pick fresh ones and just peel the think skin off and remain some thin skins, which can help to add some extra green color and also make the smashed cucumber crisper.  If you really do not like the skin, you can peel them all off. Do remember to cut the two ends off.

Smash the cucumber and then cut into small pieces casually. And then marinate with the sauce. The garlic sauce I introduced today is the most basic and mild version. If you want to spicy version, you can add some chili oil or resort to the sauce in this pickled cucumber salad.

Chinese Cucumber Salad

Chinese Cucumber Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serve: 2 as side dish

Chinese Cucumber Salad

Chinese style smashed cucumber salad


  • 1 fresh English cucumber
  • 3 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1/2 tablespoon black vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. Wash the fresh cucumber, cut the two ends off and peel the tough skins off.
  2. Smash it with a kitchen knife until the cucumber is well crushed. Then cut into small section casually.
  3. Transfer cucumber cubes into a bowl. Mix well with mashed garlic and other sauces.
  4. Serve immediately or put in refrigerator for around 15 minutes for a better taste.


You can change adding some extra seasonings according to your own taste. Sugar is not necessary, you can skip it.

Chinese Cucumber Salad


  1. says

    Hi Elaine,

    Great recipe. I used the smashed cucumber method and it turned out great. So easy and simple to make. It took me about 3 minutes start to finish plus the 15 minutes in the fridge. The salt released a decent amount of water from the cucumber during the fridge time and that, mixed with vinegar and seseme oil, made a nice, light and fresh dressing for the salad. I’ve had this dish in many places in China but this was one of my favorites so far – fresh makes everything better.

    • Elaine Luo says

      Thanks Zhou for your feedback. This is one of my favorite in summer days. I like the cool version with some water released. Glad to know that you like it too.

      • margaret says

        we love a salad we have had often in china that has tmoatoes, smashed cucumbers, garlic, ginger, black vinegar, shoyu, sesame oil, sesame seeds, chili, etc. i sounds kind of like fah huang gua. how should it be spelled? thanks so much!

        • Elaine Luo says

          Hi Margaret,
          Is it Da Ban Cai? Where do you had this dish? I mean which province or what type of restaurants?

  2. Jenni says

    Thank you for a fantastic site! I love good Asian food and as these canned saucesand precooked dishes are often tasteless and boring I have been looking for authentic and good recipes to try in my own kitchen. I will shortly test you recipe for steamed buns and crispy pork belly :-)

    • Elaine Luo says

      Thanks Jenni for leaving me this note. Home-made Chinese dishes usually provide wonderful tastes. That’s a really wonderful idea to make them at home rather than resort to canned food. And you picked two challenging recipes. Good luck and happy cooking ahead.

  3. Nick says

    Hi Elaine,

    When I lived in Hebei, I asked my friends to teach me to make this. Your recipe is very similar to theirs except for one thing: After they cut the cucumber, they mix it with some salt and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then they squeeze some of the liquid out of the cucumbers and get rid of the extra liquid. It helps the cucumbers absorb the sauce. BTW, your pork belly recipe was amazing and I used it to make a Thai dish with Crispy Pork Belly and Chinese Broccoli!

    • Elaine Luo says

      Hi Nick,
      That’s also a popular method. You can use both ways. Personally for this smashed cucumber, I just mix seasonings directly without squeezing the water out because it is smashed already. Smashing is used for the purpose of better absorbing of the sauce. And thanks for your feedback. I LOVE crispy pork belly too. Happy cooking and enjoy!

  4. Ann says

    Good salad! I will be making it again. You didn’t say anything about stopping the cucumber splattering the kitchen during the smashing process though. I wonder if I got a messy bench and walls because I used an thin-skinned cucumber? It was the same size and shape as what you are calling an English cucumber (says this Aussie whose lived in the States and grew up when Aussie food was English food) but I don’t know the varietal name. Too short for Lebanese cucumber. OK, bench and walls wiped down now, salad digesting…

    • Elaine Luo says

      Haha Ann,
      What an mess! In fact, I do not know the exact name of this cucumber too. It is not native in China. I used to splatter on the operating board of my kitchen and the walls but then I tried to use a large Chinese style slicing knife, which is really wide. So it really helps a lot!

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