Wait, Should We All Be Smashing Our Cucumbers?

So thaaat's how they can soak up dressing

Cucumbers, as super refreshing as they can be, are also pretty boring. That’s because their smooth, solid surface doesn’t allow for much sauce or dressing absorption. The solution: smashing. Lots of Asian cuisines use this technique to change the veggie’s taste and feel--all while making it a more efficient vehicle for other flavors. Here’s how to do it.

smashed cucumber 1

Step 1: Smash

Take a fresh, firm-fleshed cucumber (with its skin on or off, your call). Rest a knife flat on it, and with the heel of your hand, pound the knife strongly but carefully…of course. (Just like you’d remove the peel from a clove of garlic.) If you’re wary of sharp objects, use a rolling pin or wooden mallet instead.

smashed cucumber 2

Step 2: Separate

Using your hands, separate the smashed cucumber into reasonably sized pieces, discarding the watery seeds.

smashed cucumber

Step 3: Salt

Sprinkle salt atop the smashed and separated pieces, and place aside for 30 minutes. This softens the skin even further and turns the outer layer into a delightfully bright-green color.

Step 4: Savor

Smashed cucumbers can be eaten on their own or turned into a flavor-packed salad. We like to add some garlic, rice-wine vinegar, chile oil and a few other ingredients for this Thai-inspired version.

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