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Smacked Cucumber Salad

Jul 12, 2022 | 0 comments

This zingy smacked cucumber salad is the ultimate refreshing side. Ready in just 5 minutes, it’s as easy as whacking some cucumbers with a rolling pin, chopping them up and tossing with a salty, spicy dressing.

Smacked cucumber salad on a white plate with chopsticks on the side, with a small bowl of chilli oil.

I can’t even tell you how obsessed I am with this cucumber salad. It seems like a weird thing to be obsessed with I know, but seriously. It’s just SO good.

Smacking the cucumbers might seem strange (even though it’s extremely satisfying!) but smacking them actually means you’re creating lots of craggy bits in the cucumber for the dressing to cling to. This means you’re getting maximum flavour in a short amount of time. No need for long marinating or pickling, this guy is ready to go straight away.


There are no fancy ingredients in this salad, so you should be able to find everything in your cupboard or at a supermarket. Along with the obvious cucumber, there are a couple of key ingredients in the dressing.

Smacked cucumber salad ingredients on a grey marble background.
  • Light soy sauce. Use light rather than dark here for a lovely, savoury hit.
  • Chilli oil. The salad does have a little bit of a spicy kick from the chilli oil, but the heat is tempered down by the other ingredients. If you’re worried it’ll be too spicy, you could just add ½ a tablespoon of chilli oil. Try making my homemade chilli oil for an even more delicious flavour hit.
  • Rice vinegar. This is my favourite vinegar to use in general so I always have some in my cupboard, but you could use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have any.

How to make the salad

Start with the fun part – smacking the cucumber! Take a rolling pin and lay your cucumber on a flat surface. Carefully smack it a few times, moving up and down the cucumber until it splits and cracks. There will be cucumber juices flying around, so it gets a little messy.

Chop the cucumber into small chunks. I like to do this by cutting it in half, then cutting each half again down the middle and cutting it into long strips. Then I just cut the strips into chunks. Add the cucumber to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the minced or grated garlic (I like using a Microplane as I find it easier to clean than a garlic press!), soy sauce, chilli oil, rice vinegar and salt.

Give everything a good mix to coat the cucumber well. Transfer to a serving plate and eat right away.

Got a question?

How spicy is the salad?

It definitely does have a spicy kick from the chilli oil, but it’s quite mild. If you’re worried about the spice level, use 1/2 tablespoon of chilli oil instead.

Can I make this in advance?

You can smack and chop the cucumber into chunks and mix the dressing ingredients together in advance (up to 3 days), but I wouldn’t mix the cucumber and dressing until you’re ready to serve. The longer the cucumber sits in the dressing, the more liquidy it becomes.

What can I serve with the salad?

This is one of my favourite salads because it’s so versatile! I’ve shared 3 of my favourite ideas below, but I love this salad alongside grilled chicken or salmon with some rice, tossed through soba noodles (the dressing makes the most unbelievable sauce), on top of a dip like labneh or as a fresh, zingy side to dumplings or bao.

What does smacking the cucumber do?

This fun, albeit weird, way to prepare the cucumber for this salad does actually serve a purpose. When you smack the cucumber, you’re bruising the flesh and breaking the texture down a bit. This means that the dressing can penetrate the cucumber a lot faster so you don’t need to marinate or pickle the cucumber before serving. It gives you more flavour in a shorter amount of time, which makes it a win-win in my book!

Three ways to use this salad

Like this recipe? Here are some others you might enjoy!

If you make this recipe let me know in the comments below! I love hearing how you get on with my creations.

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Smacked cucumber salad on a white plate with chopsticks on the side, with a small bowl of chilli oil.

Smacked Cucumber Salad

  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This zingy smacked cucumber salad is the ultimate refreshing side. Ready in just 5 minutes, it’s as easy as whacking some cucumbers with a rolling pin, chopping them up and tossing with a salty, spicy dressing.


  • 1 large cucumber (approximately 350g)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons chilli oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Equipment –

  • Rolling pin


  1. Smack the cucumber. Lay the cucumber out on a flat surface and smack it a couple of times with the rolling pin, until it splits and cracks (this can get a little messy with flying cucumber juice!)
  2. Cut the cucumber. Cut the smacked cucumber in half, then in half lengthways, and chop that half into long strips. Chop the strips into small chunks and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Mix the cucumber and dressing. Add the 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce, 1.5 tablespoons of chilli oil, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and ½ teaspoon of salt to the bowl and give everything a good mix so the cucumbers are coated.
  4. Serve the salad. Transfer to a serving plate and eat right away.


The longer the salad sits the more liquidy it will become. That’s because the water will come out of the cucumber so it is best eaten soon after mixing. It will however keep for 3 days in the fridge and is great mixed into other salads, or used to top poke bowls.

You can use a store bought chilli oil here but why not try making my homemade chilli oil? It’s easier than you’d think and so much better than any you can buy.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Category: salads
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: asian


  • Serving Size: Half a cucumber

Keywords: cucumber salad, asian salad, pickled cucumber


I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.





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