Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

Tonight, we ‘threw together’ a meal that, like always, left me in awe of my grandmother. Not because the meal was particularly complicated or unusual, but just seeing my nai nai in action is inspiring. She can barely walk a block without sitting down for a rest (she’s 90 – it’s cool), but get her in the kitchen, and she will take a cleaver to a bunch of cukes like nobody’s business. Lucky for us, that means we often get to enjoy her cucumber salad dish – particularly delightful on an indian summer day.

Note from mom: “This isn’t a salad. This is a cucumber dish!”

Here’s a version Nai Nai made:

DSC01542 copy


  • 3-4 Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 small red pepper or red pepper flakes
  • (Optional) 2 cloves garlic


  1. Cut cucumbers in half and quarter them into slices. OR, if you’re a badass B like my nai nai, take a whacking to it (see video evidence below)
  2. Salt the cucumber and let it sweat for 10-15 minutes
  3. Rinse salt off cucumber slices
  4. Add vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, red peppers. Let marinate another 10 minutes before serving.

It’s that easy.

Grandma Cucumber Smackdown Trimmed.gif

3 thoughts on “Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad

  1. Jessica says:

    I would like to see the grandma cucumber smackdown video. It is not loading. Everyone slices them and I prefer them like this. I sincerely would like to see her technique. Thanks!


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