Originating from China, pai huang gua, is a smashed cucumber salad often flavoured with garlic, chiles, and rice vinegar. Served as an appetizer or a side dish this salad is full of flavour and texture. This is my take on a smashed cucumber salad. Cool and crunchy with a touch of spice, this is an easy way to eat more cucumbers than you thought possible in one sitting.
Smashed Cucumber Salad with Peanuts and Chile Oil
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs (2-3 med) cucumbers
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. chili oil*
- 2 tsp. soy saue
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts (or hazelnuts), roughly chopped
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
*subsitute: sesame oil + 1/4 tsp. red chile flakes
Trim ends off cucumbers.
Place cucumbers in a large zip lock bag (to avoid a mess). If too big to fit in bag cut into large chunks. Seal bag and smash with a rolling pin (or other heavy object). Cut any remaining large chunks into 1″ pieces.
Place in a mesh strainer over a bowl and sprinkle evenly with salt. Let sit and drain for at least 20 minutes.
Squeeze out and discard any excess water.
Combined smashed cucumbers with sugar, chile oil and soy sauce.
Top with roasted peanuts, scallions and sesame seeds.