Smashed Cucumber Salad

Ryan Eckles, Project Bread

School Lunch

School Lunch Recipe

Smashed Cucumber Salad

This is a variation of a classic Chinese cold cucumber salad. It goes great by itself or alongside everything from stir fry to sandwiches. The dressing also pairs well with a variety of vegetables like zucchini, carrots, steamed broccoli or a cabbage slaw.

YIELD: 100 SERVINGS, 1/4 cup portions


12 lbs cucumber

2 Tbsp Kosher salt (plus extra for extracting water)

¼ cup sugar (plus extra for extracting water)

½ cup + 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

¼ cup toasted sesame oil

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

¼ cup garlic, minced

1 Tbsp chili flakes

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Rinse and pat dry cucumbers. Cut in half lengthwise then crosswise.
  2. Place pieces seed side down on cutting board. Lay your knife or flat bottomed tool on top and press down lightly to “smash” or break the flesh. You are looking to gently break the flesh and cause fractures, NOT pulverize into pulp.
  3. Break or slice pieces into bite size leaving behind any fallen seeds and place in a strainer. Sprinkle salt and sugar over cucumbers and let sit for 15-60 minutes to draw out excess moisture.
  4. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar and rice vinegar. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in sesame oil and soy sauce.
  5. Shake cucumbers well to drain off any remaining liquid and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with grapeseed or olive oil and toss. Add half the dressing, half the garlic and the red pepper flakes to taste, and toss. Keep adding dressing until cucumbers are well coated but not drowned. Taste and add more pepper flakes and garlic if needed.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.

USDA Requirement

¼ cup other vegetables


Calories 24 calories Saturated Fat  0.16 g Sodium 164 mg  Carbohydrate 2.7 g

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