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Smashed Cucumber Salad (拍黄瓜)

This smashed cucumber salad is satisfyingly crisp, sour, and spicy. This cold and refreshing side dish is a staple in Chinese households on hot summer days. 
Prep Time5 mins
Inactive Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: asian cucumber salad recipe, chinese cucumber salad, pai huang gua, smashed cucumber salad
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 120kcal


  • 2 lbs cucumber (8-10 Persian cucumbers, 2 large English cucumbers)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp Chinkiang vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp chili oil
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves (roughly chopped, optional, for garnish)
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (optional, for garnish)


  • Wash the cucumbers and pat them dry.
  • For Persian cucumbers: Place on a cutting board and smash lightly with a large cleaver until the cucumber cracks. Cut on the diagonal into bite-sized pieces.
  • For English cucumbers: Cut in half lengthwise. If the cucumbers have a lot of seeds, use a spoon to scoop them out. Place the cucumber flesh side down on the cutting board and lightly with a large cleaver until cracked. Cut on the diagonal into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a bowl, toss the cucumbers with the salt. Let the cucumbers marinate for at least 10-15 minutes to draw out excess water.
  • To serve, drain off any liquid and toss the drained cucumber with the remaining ingredients. Taste and add more salt, garlic, and/or chili oil if desired.


See post above for tips and how to prepare other types of cucumbers.