Recipes, Side

Smashed Cucumber Salad

This isn’t any ordinary cucumber salad – this is a Smashed Cucumber Salad inspired by the authentic Chinese recipe. 

If there is ever a time we’re eating salad it’s summertime. When it’s too hot to turn on the oven and you want to enjoy all that delicious fresh produce. This super simple salad is a great way to spruce up your dinner table without a lot of extra work. Enjoy this salad as a side dish to your Chinese-inspired feast.

This recipe was inspired by two recipes. The first is Pai Huang Gua by Heart and Parcel and the second Smashed Asian Cucumber Salad by The Woks of Life.

smashed cucumber salad

smashed cucumber salad

What is a Smashed Cucumber Salad?

This Smashed Cucumber Salad is inspired by the Chinese dish Pai Huang Gua. Pai Huang Gua is a traditional Chinese starter originating from the Hunan province. The idea behind a smashed (or slapped) cucumber is that the crushing of the cucumber is supposed to help the vinegar flavour incorporate. You’ll find traditional versions at many restaurants in China.

For more traditional Chinese recipes, check out The Woks of Life.

smashed cucumber salad

Tips for making this recipe:

  • Don’t be afraid to smash it. When we say smashed cucumber, we mean smashed cucumber. Don’t be afraid to really bash it until it really begins to crack and break into pieces.
  • Allow the cucumber to marinate. Before serving your salad, allow it to rest for a few minutes so the cucumber can really absorb the flavour.
  • A little goes a long way. You don’t need a lot of dressing for this recipe to pack in the flavour.

smashed cucumber salad

We are not suggesting substitutions for this recipe as it would change the flavour of the recipe very dramatically. In order to be as true as we can to the original dish, we feel as though with substitutions we wouldn’t be be able to call this recipe Smashed Cucumber Salad.

For more summer salad recipes, check out our Grilled Veggie Salad and Toasted Bread Salad.

Smashed Cucumber Salad

This isn't any ordinary cucumber salad - this is a Smashed Cucumber Salad inspired by the authentic Chinese recipe. 
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Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese-Inspired
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 English cucumber, (about 300 g)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) rice vinegar
  • 6 g (1 clove) garlic, finely minced
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) soy sauce
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) sesame oil
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) maple syrup
  • 9 g (1 tbsp) sesame seeds
  • g (1 tsp) chili flakes


  • Cut off the ends of the cucumber and using a rolling pin or cast iron pan smashed the cucumber until it starts to crack.
  • Cut cucumber into bite sized pieces and add to a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • To your cucumbers add all the other ingredients and toss to coat.

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