Asian cucumber salad is a delicious and refreshing summer salad that we enjoy in the hot summers of Japan. It is also known as “Tataki Kyuri” (smashed cucumber) in Japanese and it is actually a very popular salad all year round! This Asian smashed cucumber salad is super easy and quick to make in under 10 minutes with a Japanese trick.
What is Asian Cucumber Salad?
So what is the difference between an “Asian” cucumber salad from just a common cucumber salad? Although cucumbers are now grown in many different places in the world, they originated in Asia. Also, the dressing has a typical Asian flavour; sesame seed oil and soy sauce.
Ingredients You Need
- Sesame seed oil
- Torigara Soup (instant powder)
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Grated garlic
- Togarashi (dried bird’s eye chilli)
Which Type of Cucumber is Used for Asian Cucumber Salad?
Cucumbers are classified into three types; Slicing, Pickling and Speciality. If Japanese cucumbers called “Kyuri” are available, they are the best suited for the Asian Cucumber Salad recipe. Japanese cucumbers are one of the slicing variety. They are slender, with tiny bumps and thin skin and have a dark green colour. Japanese cucumber Kyuri have a crisp and crunchy texture with a sweet flesh. Reference : berkeleywellness.com
How to Choose Good Cucumbers?
Choose cucumbers that feel firm to the touch. Avoid the cucumbers which have soft or dark patches. Furthermore, look for bright green colored cucumbers. Avoid the ones that are dull green in color or have yellowish skin. This is a strong indication that they are not fresh.
Why and How to Smash the Cucumbers?
Smashing the cucumbers makes the flavour penetrate through the cucumber easier. Place the washed cucumbers in a strong ziplock bag. Zip the bag and bash the cucumbers over the ziplock with a rolling pin. Then add all the seasonings into the bag and toss them together in the bag. Super easy and no mess!
Tips to Make Your Asian Cucumber Salad Delicious
- Choose Japanese cucumber “Kyuri” or similar to this type of cucumber.
- Pick fresh cucumbers. See How to choose above.
- Use s strong ziplock bag and do not over smash them. It might break the bag (I did) and also over-smashing them will draw more liquid from the fruit. This will make this salad watery and the sesame and soy flavour weak.
What Japanese Dishes to Serve with
- Japanese Hamburger Steak
- Beef Negimaki
- Teriyaki Meatballs
- Teriyaki Chicken
Other Japanese Salads to Try
Soy sauce can be replaced with coconut aminos or salt. Read more about Japanese food substitutions.
This refreshing salad can be made in under 10 minutes so you don’t need to make it ahead of time. You can serve immediately or leave overnight to marinade. It will keep fresh a couple days refrigerated.
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Asian Cucumber Salad
- a ziplock bag
- a rolling pin
- 2 "Kyuri" Japanese cucumber *1
- 1/2 tbsp Sesame seed oil
- 1/2 tbsp Soy sauce *2
- 1 tsp Torigara Soup Granules *3
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 Togarashi *4 optional
- Wash the cucumber and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Chop off the both ends of the cucumbers.
- Place the cucumbers into a ziplock bag.
- Zip the bag and smash the cucumber over the bag with a wooden rolling pin.
- Open the ziplock bag and break the large pieces of smashed cucumbers into smaller pieces.
- Add the rest on the ingredients into the bag.
- Zip up the bag and toss the cucumbers and seasoning together with your hands.
- Serve immediately in a serving bow or marinate in the fridge longer.
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