smashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber saladsmashed cucumber salad

Did you know that if you SMASH your cucumbers instead of slicing them perfectly, you will experience not only a different texture but also a different taste experience ? Well, I just found this out in an Asian restaurant the other night and it was perfect … and I’m someone who has grown up with cucumber in salads. You would think I would have already known this from grating cucumber all the time for tzatziki ! But you learn something new every day, which is why I’m sharing this with you ! It’s a technique more than a salad and dressing recipe that I’m adapting from an original Asian version made with soy sauce and sesame oil and rice vinegar and turning it into something more Mediterranean (somewhat like tzatziki, hummus and ktipiti dipping sauces turned into salad dressings), but it’s all good and you should make the dressing you already love with this. It’s the tenderness of the cucumber as well as how it holds and absorbs the dressing that is nice here ! I like making small portions of all 3 dressings (as I’ve described below) if I’m preparing 1 kg of cucumber salad, but you can simply double one salad dressing option for 1 cup total and it will be enough for everyone ! Enjoy smashing the cucumbers … :)

smashed cucumber salad


serves 4


  • 1 kg fresh cucumbers (6 small or 4 medium or 2 large)
  • 1-2 tsp coarse salt (or regular sea salt)
  • 1-2 tsp sugar

salad dressing options with a yogurt base for 1/2 cup (or 100 grams) of dressing :

  • 1/4 cup plain greek-style yogurt (60-65 grams)
  • 1 tbsp or 15 grams white vinegar (or lemon or lime juice or a combination)
  • 2 tbsp or 30 grams olive oil (or half olive oil and half sesame seed oil)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp toasted sesame seeds (as garnish)

3 variations

  • herb sauce : add 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, mint and parsley (optional: add 1 tbsp of crumbled feta cheese)
  • sesame sauce : add 1-2 tbsp tahini, 1/4 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp chopped fresh coriander and extra lemon juice
  • spicy sauce : add 1 tbsp mashed roasted red pepper, 1/8 tsp hot sauce, 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano (or 1/8 tsp dried oregano), 1/8 tsp paprika (optional: add 1 tbsp of crumbled feta cheese)


  • wash and dry your cucumbers and slice in half length-wise and place flat-side down on a cutting board
  • wth a second smaller cutting board placed on top or with the flat side of a wide knife, pound with your fist to smash the cucumbers in order to break the skin and loosen the seeds
  • remove the seeds and break by hand or cut into smaller bite-sized pieces
  • in a large bowl, toss the cucumber with the salt and sugar
  • place inside a strainer to drain, weigh down with a heavy plate for 30 minutes at room temperature or several hours in the refrigerator
  • prepare your salad dressing base by combining all ingredients in a food processor (or by hand) and then add the additional ingredients to either make an herby sauce, a sesame sauce or a spicy sauce and cream everything together for a lump-free dressing (I made all 3 so 1/2 cup of each dressing as explained above)
  • when ready to serve, shake off excess liquid from smashed cucumbers and then serve in a plate with some dressing poured on top, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and/or fresh herbs and serve cold.