Smashed Cucumber Salad

smashed cucumber salad on a silver plate with chopsticks

Smashed cucumber salad is light, refreshing, and easy to make. And bonus, you get to play with your food!



2 T soy sauce
1 T granulated sugar
1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp chili flake
2 English cucumbers
1 tsp sesame seeds


In the same bowl you’ll be serving the salad whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, kosher salt, and chili flake until combined and sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside.

Place a cucumber on a cutting board and set the broad side of a chef’s knife or cleaver flat against it. Using your hand and some force, push down on the blade so it smashed the cucumber. Continue smashing down the length of the cucumber until the entire thing has split. Repeat with the remaining cucumber. Then turn your knife and cut the smashed cucumbers into bite-sized chunks.

Transfer the cucumber to your serving bowl and toss with dressing. Let sit for about five minutes, but no longer than ten. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.


If you don’t feel comfortable smashing with a knife, you can use a rolling pin or other heavy (clean) implement. Just remember to keep the smashing controlled, or you’ll be cleaning cucumber guts off of every conceivable kitchen surface in sight.

Make sure to fully dissolve the sugar and salt into your dressing. It’s such a simple dressing, so no man gets left behind.

Feel free to scale back on the chili flake. I understand not everyone loves all their food caliente like me. This salad is plenty delicious and refreshing without the punch of spice.

If you feel like it give your sesame seeds a quick toast in a dry skillet. This is completely optional, but the sesame flavor will be much more pronounced.

Let your smashed cucumbers sit in the dressing for a few minutes before serving, but not more than that. The salt will start to pull the moisture out of the cukes, and if left too long everything will become a diluted, watery mess.

Keywords: asian cucumber salad, smashed cucumbers, spicy salad, ten minute side dish, quick and easy salads