Chinese Smashed Cucumbers With Sesame Oil and Garlic Recipe (2024)



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If you save the drained cucumber water from the strainer you can make a very refreshing cucumber-gin martini to precede your cucumber salad.

cook authentic

Please, if you are going to use evoo, call it "Chinese inspired or influenced ..." Instead, use any flavorless vegetable oil such as plain olive oil or, better yet, peanut oil.

No Chinese dish comes to mind utilizes the flavor of olives.


I used to eat this regularly while living in Sichuan. A nice add: take some Sichuan peppercorns, roast them lightly until fragrant, then crush them and add to the sauce. These peppercorns have a slightly numbing effect until you get used to them so start small; once you get accustomed you'll notice it's a really smooth flavor.

Also, as others pointed out, don't use olive oil (much as I adore it). The oil used should be more neutral (and Asian!) to enhance the other flavors.


In addition to the previously mention omission of hau jiao (Sichuan pepper) I always use Lao Chen cu (aged Shanxi dark vinegar) instead of rice wine vinegar. The dark sorghum vinegar adds complexity to the dish and will result in a much more authentic tasting dish (it's typically available in most Chinese grocery stores).


a shortcut and easier way to do the cucumbers: scoop out the seeds first. Then lightly smash. But instead of salting them to remove the water, do this: spread the pieces on a plate and put them in the refrigerator uncovered for 30 minutes or more. The dry air circulating in the fridge evaporates almost all the e moisture so you have dry cucumber pieces, no draining or remaining moisture to dilute your dressing.


I found myself overcome with anxiety about whether I was properly crushing my cucumbers, but in the end, the flavor was great, and not one of my guests held up a cuke, announcing 'This cucumber appears to be improperly crushed!' So...great, easy recipe with readily available ingredients. Perfect when prepared as the recipe instructs. Thanks!


I am Chinese and we actually do use preserved olives to flavor quite a few dishes. My late grandmother perserved her own pitted olives with star anise, salt and sugar. She would cut them in slivers and put on top of spareribs and steam them. I wish I can get a hold of some of her homemade preserved olives now!


Fabulous flavor! Crunchy and cool dish--perfect for summertime. Only suggested modification is in the prep: cut cukes lengthwise, scoop out seeds with a spoon, then crush with knife and cut into bite sized pieces. Will make this dish again.

Cat Lady

It's also common to add liberal amounts of chili oil -- but only if you have a sufficiently high spice tolerance!

Sue B

We've had an abundance of cucumbers in the garden this summer so I used standard cucumbers, armenian cucumbers and lemon cucumbers to make this. It turned out great and the different kinds of cucumbers brought different textures.


Great recipe. I used grapeseed oil rather than olive. At the end I added all the dressing and tossed. Using a conical strainer I drained it into a cup, leaving the cucumbers dressed and yielding about half a cup of dressing to serve on the side.


So, I did a doubletake on the recipe because it suggested using EVOO - highly suggest against this. EVOO has a fairly strong, distinctive taste. I tested this out just to be sure, and was dismayed by the lack of harmony between the sesame oil and evoo. Any Chinese person would have dumped it into the garbage.Skip the evoo. Or better yet, use more sesame oil.

George Burger

Thank you- I thought the addition of olive oil very strange in this recipe. I think I'll just stick to canola and sesame oils.


I added some grated ginger to the marinade. It added a lovely warmth and depth of flavour. I agree about the EVOO, unless it's very neutral in flavour (then what good is the EVOO then?), I'd use grapeseed, canola or rice-bran oil instead. I used some crushed szechuan peppercorns instead of sesame seeds, which was very successful. I think I'll be adding that all the time now.

This dish is fabulous with heavier, meatier meals. I served it with Bo Ssam, and it was very well received.

Grace Kim

This is just like we do in Korea. It is good with rice, noodle, both hot and cold. If you do not like sesame oil it is still good without it. You can enjoy much fresh taste. Sliced cucumbers are also good.


Our forever bestie Ms Lao gan ma works great here. Easy side dish to bring to work potlucks esp when most others are bringing heavier foods and you need a more refreshing bite into the mix!

David Hays Buckley

Leaving the seeds behind is completely not necessary, totally preference. I love their texture and there is certainly much fiber/nutrition contained therein. Seeds stay around my way!


Add some chili crisp and more garlic than written.


This dish was a delicious, cool and refreshing side dish that was well-received. I kept pepper flakes handy so that our guests could adjust their desired level of heat. I used apple cider vinegar but otherwise followed the recipe. I'll make this again.


Super yum!

Jasmine Epstein

This really hit the mark for me--allowing the cucumbers to drain their water was an important step, and although I was hesitant about the sugar, the flavor was not at all sweet--it was perfect! I used canola instead of EVOO.


I appreciate all the notes/suggestions about different brands of ingredients but I just made this with the basics in my cupboards and it was fine. The cucumber martini was also very fine. So my advice is go ahead and make it as described. You won’t be disappointed.

Steve S

I prefer it with Sichuan peppercorns to red pepper


I thought this wasSo good and refreshing. I added chili oil and a little tahini. I also had some cooked corn on the cob that I sliced off and added. I know it’s not authentic but it was pretty darn good!


I added Momof*cku Chili Crisp, it was delicious!!


I skipped all the steps and added it together and ate it after 10 minutes of marinating (when my chili crisp chickpeas were done). Good side dish for the chickpeas! A little salty (and I only used soy)

Helen Park

FYI, this is a Korean side dish


I just mixed all the dressing ingredients together instead of the 2 steps and chilled it with the straining cucumbers until I served it ( about 2 hours)I didn’t even use the other oil for the pour on it just seemed unnecessary to me. I did add ginger like one person suggested and it was excellent. very refreshing ! this dish/dressing has so many possibility’s.

Sally in NYC

I really wish recipes would specify when using rice wine vinegar whether it's SEASONED vinegar or UNSEASONED vinegar!


Fine without the sugar !

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Chinese Smashed Cucumbers With Sesame Oil and Garlic Recipe (2024)
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