Smashed Asian Cucumber Salad

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This recipe is light, refreshing and perfect for the summer. It’s packed with flavor from a zingy dressing, garlic, and cilantro and it only takes 10 minutes to make!


  • 2 cucumbers (about 1 to 1-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • a small handful of chopped cilantro


  1. Wash the cucumbers and pat them dry with a clean towel. If not using European seedless cucumbers, scoop out seeds with the edge of a spoon and discard.
  2. Make the salad dressing by combining the salt, sugar, sesame oil, light soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Stir until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Set aside.
  3. On a cutting board, lay a large knife flat against the cucumber, and smash it lightly with your other hand. The cucumber should crack open and smash into four sections. Repeat along its full length. Once the whole cucumber is completely open (usually into 4 long sectional pieces), cut it at a 45-degree angle into bite-sized pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the cut cucumber with the prepared dressing, garlic and chili oil, and toss it well. Serve immediately, garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro.