I discovered this salad at Sang Chong hotpot restaurant. L had read about this salad in his Chinese textbook, so we wanted to try it.
I enjoyed it at the time, it was very moreish and I wanted to keep eating. But I got a msg hangover afterwards, so was a bit wary of ordering it again.
I thought the ingredient that made it so delicious was sesame oil, but upon finding a recipe at
Jonathan in China’s blog, it seems to be salt, plain and simple!
Smashed Cucumber Salad (serves one)
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chiles
1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pinch sugar
About one tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Heavy knife – Chinese cleaver or Cook’s Knife
Wash the cucumber and top and tail it. Chop into bite size chunks, approx 3cm each. Using the flat side of your chef’s knife lean upon each chunky piece on the green side and ‘smash’ it into irregular bits. I found this easier than ‘smashing’ the whole cucumber, and chopping afterwards. This step gives the dish its name, but also lets the flavours penetrate the cucumber.
Put the chunky bits in a bowl, and scatter with salt. Mix and let it absorb and rest for 10 minutes.
Rinse the salt off the cucumber and pat the cucumbers dry.
Add the dried chili flakes, garlic, diced fresh chillies, and sugar. Taste, and add a very small amount of salt if required.
Heat a couple tablespoons of peanut oil (depends how many cucumber chunks you have) in your frypan until it smokes.
Pour the hot oil over the cucumbers, it should sizzle upon contact.
Mix it all together with a small splash of of the red wine vinegar.
Serve as a side. Yummo! I know I’ll be doing with that other cucumber that I bought!