Smashed Cucumbers with Mint and Soy is a classic Chinese dish that can be served as a side or as an appetizer. A little sweet, slightly spicy, and with just the right amount of tangy, the umami flavor of these crunchy cukes pairs perfectly with a cool and frothy Lavender Hibiscus Sour.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 English or Japanese cucumbers
- Kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. fish sauce
- 1 red or green serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- 5 to 6 mint sprigs
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Begin by cutting the cucumbers into 3-inch long pieces. Then, using the flat side of your knife and the heel of your hand, push down on the cucumber 3 or 4 times, until it flattens and breaks open.
- Place the smashed cucumbers into a colander in the sink. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and toss. Let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse with water and shake dry.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine the garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and fish sauce. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved.
- Place the cucumbers into a bowl and add the sauce along with the sliced pepper. Toss together. Let marinate for as few as 20 minutes or up to 24 hours, then serve in a shallow bowl with torn mint leaves and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Recipe and photos by Megan Mitchell.