Keyword: asian cucumber salad, chinese cucumber salad, cold cucumber salad, cucumber chilli salad, smacked cucumber salad, smashed cucumber salad
3teaspoonslight soy sauce
1tablespoonrice wine vinegar
500gLebanese cucumberswashed and dried
Dash of salt and black pepper
1 ½tablespoongrapeseed oil*
1teaspoonred chilli flakes
½teaspoonGochugaru**(Korean red pepper flakes)
2teaspoonswhite sesame seeds
2tablespoonsthinly sliced spring onion
Mix garlic, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside for 10-15 minutes while you prep everything else to allow the garlic to mellow in the vinegar.
Start preparing the cucumbers by trimming the ends. Place each cucumber on a wooden chopping board. Smash it gently along the length using a heavy pestle or rolling pin until it splits. Slice the cucumbers in 1-2 inch diagonal slices. Using a spoon, gently remove some of the wet seed clumps. Scoop the cucumber pieces into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt flakes and black pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes. Then drain off the excess liquid.
Prepare the chilli oil by heating the grapeseed oil in a small saucepan on low heat. Add chilli flakes and Gochugaru. Continue cooking on a low heat for 5-6 minutes until the oil is toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat.
Pour dressing over the cucumber and mix gently until cucumber is coated.
Pour the chilli oil over the cucumber. Sprinkle sesame seeds and garnish with spring onion. Serve immediately.
*Grapeseed oil – It can be replaced with peanut oil if allergies are not an issue. Peanut oil is often used in Asian cooking for a warm garnish/dressing. You can also use Canola or Sunflower oil. Heating the oil gently with the chilli makes it fragrant and adds a depth of complex flavour.**Gochugaru – Korean red pepper flakes are known as Gochugaru. They are textural, aromatic and have a mild heat. In chilli oil, they add a lovely colour and a layer of heat. You can replace Gochugaru with red cayenne pepper powder or even sweet paprika.