Smacked Cucumber

February 9, 2018

Author Notes: A simple, piquant side dish, you'll want to make a big batch of this so you can serve it as part of a feast, or something to eat alongside any meal.

Featured In: Extra-Long Noodles Star in This Lucky, Scrumptious Lunar New Year Feast
Hsiao-Ching Chou

Makes: 4 cups


  • 5-6 Persian cucumbers or 1 small English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chili pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Trim the ends of the cucumbers. Starting at one end of a cucumber, place the flat of your knife (or a rolling pin) on top of the cucumber. Gently but firmly strike the blade with the heel of your palm to smash the cucumber (“so the vegetable splinters and opens up with jagged cracks” or “so it splits”). Cut into bite-sized pieces, and set aside in a medium bowl. Repeat this for the rest of the cucumbers. If there are any large sections, you can cut through them.
  2. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the medium bowl and mix well. Cover and let the cucumbers marinate on the counter for at least 30 minutes before serving. Store the cucumber in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days.

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Cucumber|Soy Sauce|Vinegar|Side