The concept of the “smashed” cucumber salad showed up last week on one of my favorite food podcasts. The next day I heard about it on another food podcast. The third day, I stumbled across a picture of it online. Was the universe trying to tell me something? Was it in my destiny to make smashed cucumber salads?

No, I’m not drunk, or anything fun like that, and neither are these “smashed” cucumbers. They are actually SMASHED using a knife or even a frying pan. Originally a Sichuan dish, the practice of smashing cucumbers, salting them, and then vibrantly dressing them has gone mainstream.

Here are my two takes on the concept: One of them is a light, summery take on a Thai green curry. The the other one was inspired by a traditionally meat and dairy heavy Italian chopped salad.

GET SMASHING!

Smashed Cucumber Salad with Thai Avocado Green Curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: salad, vegan
Keyword: shashed cucumber salad, vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Monson Made This
Ingredients
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons vegan sugar or liquid sweetener
  • 1 small handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 serrano chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • Roasted Peanuts and fresh cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cut the cucumber into 4 manageable chunks. One chunk at a time, place a towel over the cucumbers, and with one or two good whacks with a pan, smash the cucumbers. You just want the cucumbers to “pop”; you aren’t trying to pulverize them. Break the pieces into bite sized chunks, and then place them into a colander. Generously salt the cucumbers and toss them. Allow them to drain in the colander for about 10 minutes.
  2. While the cucumbers sweat, place the coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, cilantro, lime juice, avocado, chili, garlic, and ginger into a blender. Blend until creamy. Taste for sweetness, salt, and acid. .
  3. To serve, place the cucumber chunks on a plate, and drizzle with the curry sauce. Top with onion, bell pepper, peanuts and fresh cilantro. You could also toss all of the veggies together with the sauce, and then garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately.

 

Italian Smashed Cucumber Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
resting time
20 mins
 
A take on a classic Italian chopped salad, but "smashed" cucumbers are the star here.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: vegan
Keyword: smashed cucumber salad, vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Monson Made This
Ingredients
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegan sugar or liquid sweetener
  • Red pepper flake to taste
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes thinly sliced
  • Vegan feta
Instructions
  1. Cut the cucumber into 4 manageable chunks. One chunk at a time, place a towel over the cucumbers, and with one or two good whacks with a pan, smash the cucumbers. You just want the cucumbers to “pop”; you aren’t trying to pulverize them. Break the pieces into bite sized chunks, and then place them into a colander. Generously salt the cucumbers and toss them. Allow them to drain in the colander for about 10 minutes.

  2. While the cucumbers sweat, make the dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, mustard, seasonings, and sugar.

  3. To serve, toss the cucumbers, onions, peppers, sun dried tomatoes, and feta together with the dressing. Allow the flavors to mingle for about 20 minutes, or serve immediately.