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Three plates of Chinese cucumber salad
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5 from 6 votes

Chinese cucumber salad, three ways (黄瓜三吃)  

A comprehensive guide on preparing cucumber salads the Chinese way. Three cutting methods are matched with three delicious dressings. A tutorial video is also included.
Prep Time12 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Salad, Sichuan, Vegetables
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Wei Guo


Option 1: Smashed cucumber salad

  • 1 large cucumber about 400g/14oz
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk scallions, finely chopped
  • 3 bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped or other types of chillies
  • 1 tablespoon black rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

Option 2: Sliced cucumber salad

  • 1 large cucumber about 400g/14oz
  • 4 radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 drop honey
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • coriander optional

Option 3: Coir raincoat cucumber salad


For option 1: Smashed cucumber salad

  • Partially peel the skin of the cucumber.
  • Use the side of a cleaver to smash the cucumber (Alternatively, you may use a rolling pin). Cut the smashed cucumber into bitesize pieces.
  • Add the salt. Mix and leave to rest for 10 mins. Then discard the liquid extracted from the cucumber.
  • Add scallions, garlic & fresh chillies. Heat up the oil then pour it over.
  • Add soy sauce, black rice vinegar, sugar.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate. Shake to mix for 10 seconds. Transfer to a serving bowl/plate.

For option 2: Sliced cucumber salad

  • Slice the cucumber lengthways with a vegetable peeler. Stop when the seedy part appears.
  • Turn 90 degrees and continue slicing. Repeat to slice all sides.
  • Put into a salad bowl (exclude the seedy part). Add radish slices.
  • Mix all the other ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Right before serving, pour the dressing over. Toss with chopsticks.

For option 3: Coir raincoat cucumber salad

  • For the cutting technique, please refer to the tutorial video below.
  • Using the tip of the knife as a guide to depth. Thinly slice diagonally to a depth of approximately halfway through the cucumber from one end to the other. 
  • Turn over to the other side. Slice at right angles to the same depth throughout.
  • Mix soy sauce and sugar in a serving bowl/plate. Place cucumbers on top. Leave to rest for 10 mins (toss around halfway). Then discard all the liquid.
  • Put ground Sichuan pepper, chilli powder & toasted sesame seed on top of the cucumbers.
  • Pour hot oil over the spices. Toss gently then serve (See note 2).



1. Please feel free to mix & match the three cutting methods and the three dressing recipes. For example, use the mala dressing for smashed cucumber, etc.
2. A quick alternative for the mala dressing: I highly recommend that you make and store a jar of homemade Chinese chilli oil. Use it as a quick alternative (to replace ground Sichuan pepper, Chilli powder/chilli flakes, sesame seeds & oil).