I am a big cucumber fan — the type that will take a bite straight from a whole cuke - but you don’t have to be to enjoy this salad.
Smashed Cucumber Salad is a Chinese side dish, and I’ve adapted that dish into a recipe I can make any old day. The salad base is still just cucumber (a GREAT way to mix it up when you’re in a salad rut). The dressing is where the rubber really meets the road here. You could use this dressing on other salads, too — but I never have leftovers 😁
The perfect balance of salt, acid, and sweet: rice vinegar, soy sauce, and honey come together here. I haven’t yet watched Salt Fat Acid Heat (or read it), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a dish that balances all of it’s flavors well. What do you think — should I jump in and watch the show?
Either way, this dressing is golden. Garlic and chili flakes add punch. Cucumber is plain and simple; but simple is just right with the dressing.
Serves: 6 | Active Time: 50 minutes
- Slice ends off of cucumber, and slice in half the long direction. Lay halved cucumbers seed-side down on a cutting board. Roll a rolling pin over cucumbers, smashing them just until the start to crack. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Place cucumber in a bowl and generously sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
- Place avocado oil, garlic and chili flakes in a small sauté pan and warm over medium heat until garlic begins to sizzle. Stir occasionally, and allow garlic to turn golden. Remove from heat.
- In a jar, combine honey, rice vinegar, ginger juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, and the chili-garlic oil. Stir (or close jar and shake) to combine.
- Toss cucumber in dressing. Top with minced cilantro, and optionally garnish with mint and lime wedges. Serve.