Crushed Cucumber Salad—Tangy, Sweet, & Spicy!

Somehow crushed cucumbers are much more satisfying to eat than regular chopped or sliced cucumbers. Maybe it’s the texture, size, and the way the nooks and crannies catch all the deliciously sweet, spicy, and tangy dressing!

Crushed cucumber salad is a refreshing cucumber dish that can be eaten for a light lunch or a side to a heartier dinner. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a heavy meal like my meatloaf dinner, because the bright, spicy, tangy flavor cuts the heaviness of the meal wonderfully!

The Cucumber

Smashed Cucumbers

I like to use mini cucumbers for this salad. The thinness of the cucumbers, lack of seeds, and size if perfect. Alternatively, a seedless English cucumber may also be used. I would not recommend a regular fat cucumber, but it can probably be used in a pinch.

Use a meat tenderizer, mallet, or the end of the handle of a knife to mash the cucumbers lightly—they should just slightly crack along the length. Then, chop the cucumbers to one inch chunks to make bite size pieces.

The Marinade

Cucumbers in Dressing

The best part of the cucumber salad is the delicious marinade—my mouth is watering just thinking of it! In a bowl, mix together minced garlic, rice vinegar, gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes), sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and a little salt to taste.

Mix everything well, then add in the crushed and chopped cucumbers along with a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. Mix again until all the flavors are well combined. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serves: 2-4

Time: 5 minutes

  • 1 lb mini cucumbers
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


1. Smash cucumbers with a meat tenderizer, then chop into 1 inch pieces

2. Mix together minced garlic, rice vinegar, sugar, gochugaru, sesame oil, sesame seeds and salt until combined to make the dressing

3. In a bowl, add cucumbers, dressing, and cilantro. Mix well, and enjoy!

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