Archive for April 11th, 2010

Whacked Cucumber

Man vs. Cucumber

The first experience I had with whacked cucumbers was a little scary.  When The Cat’s father (my father-in-law) visited from Shanghai, he would stay with us.  During that time, he would help prep ingredients for dinner.  One day, I had come home early.  I went into our bedroom to change out of my work clothes.  From the kitchen, I heard loud banging from the kitchen.  I ran to the kitchen and saw The Cat’s father whacking cucumbers with the flat side of our large Chinese cleaver.  The whacks were not dainty little pats either, they were strong enough to make our cutting board bounce.  I thought he was channeling a character out of a Stephen King novel or something.

Since then, I found out that there is actually a dish called “smashed cucumber” (although it will alway be whacked cucumbers to me).  My theory is that by breaking up the structure of the cucumber, there is more surface space for flavor to penetrate.  The basic recipe is cucumber, salt and sugar to taste.  If we have time, the cucumber is macerated in salted water for about 30 minutes.  If we don’t have time, we just season the cucumber immediately after its injuries and let it sit for five to ten minutes.  Variations include the addition of garlic or ginger, sesame seeds (black or white, whole or ground), a splash of soy sauce or rice vinegar, and/or red chili flakes or chili sauce.  A splash of roasted sesame oil can also be added just before eating.  In the picture, we just used cucumbers, salt, sugar, and ginger (cut into thin strips).

Whacked Cucumber aka Smashed Cucumber

Our Qi Master friend says that cucumbers are good for cooling the body.  As an added benefit, the process of making the dish may relieve stress and frustration (by whacking something inanimate) 😉


  • Cucumbers are cold (yin)
  • Salt is cold (yin)
  • Sugar is warm (yang)
  • Ginger is warm (yang)


The Mouse battled cucumbers and won.

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