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, cucumber salads, spicy chickens salad.
Usually Elaine has two ways of making easy Chinese cucumber salad: one is to smash it directly before mixing and the other one is to pickle the cucumber slices 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 combined sauce, succeeded with a crispy and freshness from the cucumber slices. 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.
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. Or if you use organic small cucumber, keep the skins and just remove the two ends.
Smash the cucumber and then cut into small pieces casually.
Then prepare the garlic, smash the garlic cloves too before chopping.
Then season the salad with salt and sesame oil.
Further adding light soy sauce and black vinegar.
If you prefer a hot version, add 1 to 2 teaspoon of chili oil. Mix well before serving.
Other recommended Chinese style salad for hot summer
- wood ear mushroom salad–the spicy and sour version I love the most.
- Bean thread noodles salad with carrots and spinach–a healthy vegan salad
- Sichuan style eggplant salad with fresh chilis
For long English cucumber, wash the cucumber and peel off tough skins. For small cucumber, remove the two ends.
Smash with a wide kitchen knife (like Chinese slicing knife) until the cucumber is well crushed. Then cut into one bite pieces.
Transfer all cucumber cubes into a bowl. Mix well with mashed garlic, salt and sugar.
Or further add light soy sauce and vinegar to make a more strong version.
Or add chili oil for a hot version.
For very tender and young cucumber, you can keep most of the skins.