Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce (Suan Mi Pau Huang Gua)

Smacked Cucumber In Garlicky Sauce

Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce.  蒜米爆黄瓜

Sounds oddly cruel to smack a cucumber a few times before slicing it into a dozen pieces, but give it a try.  It’s a method in Chinese cooking to bruise the veggie to soften it up, allowing it to mix well with the sauce.

asian cucumbers
ingredients for chinese cucumber recipe

This recipe for Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce – a Sichuanese appetizer commonly found in Chinese restaurants – was brought to our attention by Jean J., one of our most creative customers in the kitchen. 

With her usual contagious excitement – and possibly surrounded at the time by one too many cucumbers from the garden ready to be smacked – Jean left us this message: 

“Season with Spice to the rescue tonight!  I was craving a recipe that asked for chili oil (Fuchsia Dunlop's, Smacked Cucumbers in Garlicky Sauce).  I lined up all my Season with Spice bottles and began to play.  I used a dozen Chili Threads and a generous pinch of ground Bird's Eye Chili powder. Perfect ~ Delicious ~ I may not ever make the recipe as originally written! :)”

Smacked Cucumber In Garlicky Sauce

Thanks for the recipe idea, Jean!  Love the modifications you made to spice up the dish with Bird’s Eye Chili Powder, and how you added more flavor and color with a garnish of Chili Threads

We enjoyed this version of Smacked Cucumber in Garlicky Sauce appetizer last night before our dinner of Taiwanese Minced Meat Noodles.  Such a refreshing, incredibly flavorful side dish before the main meal.

Smacked Cucumber In Garlicky Sauce recipe

Smacked Cucumber In Garlicky Sauce (Suan Mi Pau Huang Gua) 
(from Every Grain of Rice, and some fun modifications from Jean J.)
Serves 2

1 cucumber
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp Chinkiang black vinegar (also known as Chinese black vinegar) 镇江香醋
2 tbsp olive oil (any neutral flavored oil such as sunflower oil or grape seed oil works well too)
Generous pinches of Season with Spice’s Bird’s Eye Chili Powder
A pinch or two of Season with Spice’s Ground Sichuan Pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
Pinches of Season with Spice’s Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt (optional)
A dozen of Season with Spice’s Chili Threads

1. Place a cucumber on a chopping board and smack it with the flat blade of a cleaver or with a rolling pin. Smack both sides of the cucumber to soften, and lightly break the flesh.
2. After the cucumber has been bruised, roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces.
3. Transfer the pieces into a bowl, and mix it with the salt. Set aside.
4. In another bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the last two) to make the sauce.
5. Drain out the excess water from the cucumber bowl, and then pour the sauce over the cucumber pieces. Stir well to combine. You can serve it immediately, or let it stand for 15-20 minutes to better absorb the flavor of the sauce. When ready to serve, lightly sprinkle the cucumber salad with our Sichuan Pepper Sea Salt and garnish with Chili Threads.