Sesame and Garlic Smashed Cucumbers

This is an easy and flavourful way to showcase your fresh summer cucumber bounty. The addition of honey balances the savory-sourness of the dish without making it taste sweet.


  • 10 small or 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (can be substituted with balsamic vinegar)
  • 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • toasted white sesame seeds (optional)


Wash cucumbers thoroughly. If using small or pickling cucumbers, press the blade of a large knife on top of the cucumber and smash down with your other hand. You can also use a rolling pin or cleaver knife. Once smashed, slice the cucumber lengthwise and then into 2 inch pieces.

If using large cucumbers, slice the cucumber into 2 inch pieces and then smash down the pieces.

Place cucumber pieces in a medium size bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together the kosher salt, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes until the honey is dissolved and the mixture is thoroughly combined. Taste and add more soy sauce or rice vinegar to your liking.

Pour the mixture over the cucumber pieces and mix thoroughly so that it covers all of the cucumbers. Chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.

Mix the cucumbers in the sauce again before serving and garnish with white sesame seeds.


Recipe adapted from NYT Cooking.

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