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Smacked Cucumber Salad

Smacked Cucumber Salad 2.000

T. Susan Chang

Book Report Sep 1, 2015

This simple side comes together in no time flat, after the cucumber has been smacked (which some cooks find a therapeutic kitchen exercise) and salted. Breaking up the cucumber in that way softens the vegetable and loosens the seeds.

Make Ahead: The cucumber needs to rest, salted, for 30 minutes.

Where to Buy: Palm sugar is available at Latino and some Asian markets. Light soy sauce, which is thinner than regular soy sauce, is available at Asian markets.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 2 servings

  • 1 large cucumber, preferably organic (unwaxed)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar (jaggery) or packed light brown sugar (see headnote)
  • 2 teaspoons chile oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce (see headnote)


Lay the cucumber on a cutting board. Smack it lightly with a cleaver or a rolling pin, breaking it into chunks. Chop coarsely and transfer to a colander, sprinkling it with the salt. Let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the vinegar, garlic, palm or brown sugar, chili oil, toasted sesame oil and light soy sauce in a bowl. Add the cucumber to the mixture and let stand to soak up the flavors for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Chinatown Kitchen: From Noodles to Nuoc Cham,” by Lizzie Mabbott (Mitchell Beazley, 2015).

Tested by T. Susan Chang.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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