Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad With Wood Ear Mushroom

Easy Chinese cucumber sweet and sour salad recipe with an additional crunchiness from wood ear mushroom and peanut.

There is always dried wood ears in my pantry. I personally check every now and then to make sure I don’t run out of it. 

This magical Chinese black fungus is not only rich in iron and dietary fiber. But it also makes it possible for me to come up with a side dish with basic ingredients and minimum effort.

Chinese smashed cucumber with wood ear mushrooms - CookLikeAsian.com

If you share my laid-back attitude in the kitchen, you’ll love this Chinese salad recipe with smashed cucumber salad and wood ear mushrooms.


What You Will Need For This Chinese Salad

Chinese smashed cucumber with wood ear mushrooms ingredients - CookLikeAsian.com
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 cups of dried wood ears
  • 20 grams of peanuts
  • Naturally brewed soy sauce or any soy sauce you have in the kitchen
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Shanxi mature vinegar (also known as dark vinegar)
  • Olive oil and sesame oil
  • Salt and sugar
  • Optional: pepper oil to add additional spiciness


What Is Wood Ear Mushroom (木耳)?

Wood ear mushroom, also known as black fungus, might not be as popular as enoki mushroom or shiitake mushroom.

But it’s an ingredient you’ll see a lot in cold Chinese dishes or stir-fry recipes. I would also add in wood ears to steamed fish and also dumpling fillings. 

It is categorized as one of the edible Auriculariales fungi. It got its funny name “wood ear” from its ear-like shape. Because of the jelly texture, some may call it “jelly ear” or “Jew’s ear” as well. 


Why Smashing The Cucumbers?

In most salads, cucumber is either chopped in pieces or thinly sliced. But in this Chinese salad recipe, the vegetable is crushed before cutting open. 

By doing so, the cracks pick up the favor in the sauce so much better. It also makes the whole dish much juicier without adding any water. 

Chinese smashed cucumber with wood ear mushrooms - CookLikeAsian.com


Preparations

  1. Rinse the dried ear mushroom to remove dirt. 
  2. Soak in warm water for 2 hours or so till completely softened.
  3. Remove the tough stem from the jelly-like wood ear mushroom. 
  4. Wash cucumber with running water. 
  5. Use a knife to gently smash the cucumber till opened. Then chop into small pieces. 
  6. Sprinkle the cucumber with salt. Mix and set aside.
  7. Chop garlic into mince.


How long Should I Soak Dried Wood Ears?

It takes 2 to 3 hours for dried wood ears to completely soften in cold water. 

If you are in a hurry, use warm or hot water instead. It’ll normally take less than an hour depending on the water temperature.

Wood ear mushrooms shouldn’t be soaked for more than 4 hours.


How To Make Smashed Cucumber Salad Step By Step

  1. Parboil wood ear mushroom in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool down.
  2. In a wok, add in olive oil. Add in peanuts and stir over medium-high heat till golden. Set aside and let the peanuts cool down.
  3. Add in the garlic mince and sesame oil in the wok. Stir until fragrant.
  4. Add in the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Stir for a minute till the sauce starts to thicken.
  5. On a plate, place the cucumber, peanuts and wood ears. Pour the sauce on top. Mix with chopsticks. 
Chinese smashed cucumber with wood ear mushrooms - CookLikeAsian.com

Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad With Wood Ear Mushroom

Easy Chinese cucumber sweet and sour salad recipe with an additional crunchiness from wood ear mushrooms and peanut.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, medium
  • 0.5 cups dried wood ears, rinsed and soaked
  • 20 gram peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon naturally brewed soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Shanxi mature vinegar/dark vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 0.5 teaspoon sesame oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 0.5 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Wash the soaked wood ears with running water. Remove stem
  2. Parboil wood ear mushrooms in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool down.
  3. In a wok, add in olive oil. Add in peanuts and stir over medium-high heat till golden. Set aside and let the peanuts cool down.
  4. Add in the garlic mince and sesame oil in the wok. Stir until fragrant.
  5. Add in the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Stir for a minute till the sauce starts to thicken.
  6. On a plate, place the cucumber, peanuts and wood ears. Pour the sauce on top. Mix with chopsticks.

Notes

  • To thoroughly soften dried wood ear mushroom, soak in cold water for 2 hours or warm water for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Add pepper oil for additional spiciness.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 774mg Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 7g Protein: 5g

That’s it for this Chinese smashed cucumber salad. Did you make it? Do you have tips to make it taste even better? Tell me about it in the comment!

Happy cooking:)

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