Pai Huang Gua – Chefs really have a way with cucumbers in China’s Sichuan and Hunan provinces. The “smashed” in the name refers to the technique of literally smashing cucumber halves with a cleaver so they better absorb flavors they’re dressed with.
Pi Huang Gua – Smashed Cucumber Salad
- 1 medium English cucumber, partially skinned vertically
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Black vinegar
- 1 small Fresh or pickled red chili, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp Toasted sesame oil
- Prepare Cucumbers – Cut cucumber in half longways. Scoop out any seeds with a spoon. Smash cucumber halves along the back with a large cleaver or frying pan to break them down a little. Cut in half again vertically and then cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces. Place cucumber pieces in a colander placed in the sink. Mix in 1 tsp salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Dry cucumbers with paper towels and put in a bowl.
- Assemble Salad – Add garlic, chili pepper, vinegar, and sesame oil to the cucumber. Toss thoroughly and serve in a bowl.