4-ingredient Sweet and Sour Smashed Cucumber Salad

Fresh, sour, and a little bit spicy, this Chinese cucumber salad is easy and perfect for a busy summer weeknight.

When I was a kid, I hated cucumber. I can do cabbage and lettuce. But cucumber salad? Thanks, I’ll pass.

It wasn’t until I went to a Sichuan restaurant that I realized cucumber can be this tasty. The vinegar and chilly bring out the sweetness from the cucumber. Paired with century egg, this Chinese salad is unique in both flavor and texture.

So if you are looking for creative cucumber recipes, give this Chinese cucumber salad a try!

4-ingredient Sweet and Sour Smashed Cucumber Salad

How to make Chinese cucumber salad

This is not the first time I make cucumber salad. One thing I learned is that you’ll need different flavors to make things interesting. 

Take wood ear and cucumber salad, for example, the mushrooms and peanuts add a layer of crunch to the dish. And in this spicy Chinese salad recipe, I use century eggs instead, for its unique creaminess. 

And here’s what you need to make this Chinese cucumber salad:

Ingredients for the Chinese smashed cucumber salad

4-ingredient Sweet and Sour Smashed Cucumber Salad
  • 1 cucumber, medium-sized
  • Garlic, 2 gloves
  • 1 Century egg
  • 1 Chilly
  • Cooking oil, 1 tsp
  • Black vinegar, 2 tsp
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 0.5 tsp

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Wash the cucumber. Cut it into several chunks and put them in a Ziploc.
  2. Use the flat of your knife to smash the cucumber until it is slightly crushed.
  3. Transfer to a plate and drain additional water with a kitchen towel or your hand.
  4. Add 0.5 teaspoons of salt to the cucumber and marinate for 5 minutes.

Note: This step will help to drain water from within the cucumber, so it doesn’t dilute the sauce.

Now your cucumber is ready. It’s time to make the garnish and sauce!

  1. In a pot of water, put one century egg in and bring the water to boil. Cover the lid and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Take the century egg out and soak it in cold water. When the egg cools down, remove the shell and cut it into small pieces. Place them together with the smashed cucumber.
  3. Peel the garlic by gently pressing it with your knife. Then chop the chilly and garlic finely. 
  4. On a pan, heat 1 teaspoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Then add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant. 
  5. Add 2 teaspoons of black vinegar, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir evenly. 
  6. Add the minced chilly, stir a little and turn off the heat. Pour the sauce onto the cucumber and enjoy!
4-ingredient Sweet and Sour Smashed Cucumber Salad

What is century egg?  

Century eggs are preserved duck or chicken eggs. They are called Pi Dan (皮蛋) or Song Hua Dan (松花蛋) in Chinese. With a jelly-like texture and a salty and creamy flavor, it is widely used in Chinese recipes. 

It doesn’t take 100 years to make century eggs. In fact, making century eggs takes a few weeks, depending on the method. 

You might have seen lots of century eggs in soup recipes like the pea shoot soup I made some time ago. You may also find them in congée and Chinese salads.

It’s so hard to describe the taste of a century egg. And you either love it or not. But one thing is sure: your dish won’t be blend with century eggs. And that’s why I use it in this smashed cucumber recipe. I love the contrast it brings to the dish, both visually and taste-wise.

Century egg alternatives

What if I don’t have century eggs, you ask. Simple, replace it with regular eggs or salted eggs. 

If you are using salted duck eggs, reduce the amount of salt and soy sauce by half in this recipe. You don’t want to consume too much sodium in one salad:)

4-ingredient Sweet and Sour Smashed Cucumber Salad

Have you made this Chinese smashed cucumber salad?

If you do, tell me how it goes! Also, feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comment. Happy cooking!

4-ingredient Sweet and Sour Smashed Cucumber Salad

4-ingredient Sweet and Sour Smashed Cucumber Salad

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Fresh, sour, and a little bit spicy, this Chinese cucumber salad is easy and perfect for a busy summer weeknight.

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, medium-sized
  • Garlic, 2 gloves
  • 1 Century egg
  • 1 Chilly
  • Cooking oil, 1 tsp
  • Black vinegar, 2 tsp
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Salt, 0.5 tsp

Instructions

  1. Wash the cucumber. Cut it into several chunks and put them in a Ziploc.
  2. Use the flat of your knife to smash the cucumber until it is slightly crushed.
  3. Transfer to a plate and drain additional water with a kitchen towel or your hand.
  4. Add 0.5 teaspoons of salt to the cucumber and marinate for 5 minutes.
  5. In a pot of water, put one century egg in and bring the water to boil. Cover the lid and continue to cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Take the century egg out and soak it in cold water. When the egg cools down, remove the shell and cut it into small pieces. Place them together with the smashed cucumber.
  7. Peel the garlic by gently pressing it with your knife. Then chop the chilly and garlic finely. 
  8. On a pan, heat 1 teaspoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Then add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant. 
  9. Add 2 teaspoons of black vinegar, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar and stir evenly. 
  10. Add the minced chilly, stir a little and turn off the heat. Pour the sauce onto the cucumber and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 309mgSodium: 994mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g

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