The Best Chinese Cucumber Salad is Smashed (拍黄瓜)



Smashed cucumber salad is simple and can be prepared in no time. You don’t even need to turn on your stove. If you want to make this salad ahead of time, keep the cucumber and the dressing separate in the fridge and mix them right before serving. This is the best cucumber salad because the smashing creates many bruises and allows the seasonings to infuse into the cucumber.

350 grams of cucumber, smashed
3/4 tsp of salt
2 cloves of garlic, grated
2-3 pieces of Thai bird eye chilies, diced
2-3 tbsp of diced cilantro, diced
1 tbsp of soy sauce (Amazon Link –
1 tbsp of Chinese black vinegar or apple cider vinegar (Amazon Link –
1 tbsp of hot chili oil
1/2 tsp of sugar
1 tsp of sesame oil (Amazon Link –


Smash the cucumber with a heavy-duty cleaver until the cucumber starts to split along the length. Then cut the cucumber diagonally into 2 inches long pieces. If you don’t have a cleaver, please use a rolling pin, a meat tenderizer, or your fist. It is best to use cucumbers that have thin skin and tender seeds; otherwise, you have to remove the seeds and peel the skin for better texture.

Season the cucumber with salt for 15 minutes to draw out some moisture. Then, squeeze the cucumber and discard the excess liquid.

To make the dressing, combine the grated garlic, cilantro,Thai bird eye chilies, soy sauce, hot chili oil, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.

Mix the cucumber with the dressing and toss thoroughly. For authenticity, we use Chinese black vinegar. However, considering it is not easy to find outside China, apple cider vinegar will be the best option as the slight fruity flavor accomplishes the cucumber well.





  1. I get food boxes from the local community garden and they always give a huge amount of certain veggies.

    Right now I have TEN cucumbers😮 we can only have so many sandwiches 😂 this looks delicious and I can easily use 3 or 4 for a family meal side🎉

    Thanks, girl!❤

  2. This is one of my favorite sides to eat during summer. I'm going to keep this recipe in mind when the nearby farm stand opens up. They always have amazing cucumbers that I can't get the same at any grocery store. I do have a really good Chinese black vinegar at home; I have found though that balsamic is a little closer in flavor, or if someone has both, maybe a 50/50 balsamic-apple cider blend. Black vinegar has a great flavor, and given that it has a near indefinite shelf life I would certainly encourage folks to get their hands on some, but not pass on this recipe if not!