Chinese Smashed Cucumbers

This quick and flavorful Chinese side dish is made with cucumbers which are lightly smashed then tossed with vinegar, sesame oil, salt and a pinch of sugar.

Chinese Smashed Cucumbers Recipe HR

During a recent visit to NYC, I was reintroduced to one of my favorite Asian side dishes: Chinese smashed cucumbers. Similar to a quick pickle, cucumbers are tossed in a sweet, salty, sour, and spicy mixture of sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chili flakes.

Liz Smashing Cucumbers
Demonstrating how to smash cucumbers. Simply use the backside (the dull side) of a chef’s knife to gently pound the cucumbers.
Pouring Sesame Oil

For added flavor, smokiness, and healthy fats, I drizzle in a little toasted sesame oil. You can find it online, at most major grocery stores as well as ethnic markets.

Chinese Marinated Cucumbers

What Can You Serve Chinese Smashed Cucumbers With? I love to serve them with all sorts of Asian dishes such as Garlic Chicken and Green Beans, Orange Chicken Lettuce Cups, and Shrimp Pad Thai.

Liz Having Smashed Cucumbers

Frequently asked questions:

What is the History of Smashed Cucumbers?

In Chinese cooking and other types of Asian cuisine, cucumbers and pickles are used to counter-balance spicy foods. The sweet and tangy flavors paired with the cold, crisp cucumbers are the ideal way to offset hot and spicy foods often found in Asian cuisine.

How Far In Advance Should Chinese Smashed Cucumbers Be Prepared?

You can make them in just 5 minutes but the longer they sit the more flavorful they become as the cucumbers absorb the marinade. They will be good for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

What is the Best Type of Cucumber to Use?

I like to use Persian cucumbers but any seedless cucumber works such as English cucumbers.

smashed cucumbers in a bowl

Want to make them spicy? Add in a hefty pinch of chili flakes or Sambal Oelek. You can also leave out to keep mild.

Liz Eating Smashed Cucumbers

Your chopsticks are waiting.

Chinese Quick Pickled Cucumbers Recipe 20220419 211221

Chinese Smashed Cucumbers

5 stars average
This quick and flavorful Chinese side dish is made with cucumbers which are lightly smashed then tossed with vinegar, sesame oil, salt and a pinch of sugar.
PREP: 5 minutes
TOTAL: 5 minutes
Servings: 4



  • Using the back of a chef's knife, gently smash the cucumbers a bit. Next, cut them into bite-sized chunks.
  • Place smashed cucumber pieces in a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve room temperature or chill to serve later.


Calories: 28kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 795mgPotassium: 101mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 59IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg

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Want more healthy side dish recipes? Check out my Pinterest board!

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