4.75 from 4 votes
Tataki kyuri is a simple but unique cucumber salad. By smashing the cucumbers, the dressing penetrates into each piece. Ginger and soy sauce in the dressing gives this salad a Japanese touch.
Tataki Kyuri (Smashed Cucumber Salad)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 
Tataki kyuri (Smashed Cucumber Salad) is a simple but unique cucumber salad. By smashing the cucumbers, the dressing penetrates into each piece. Ginger and soy sauce in the dressing gives this salad a Japanese touch.

It says Prep time is 10 minutes but I think it take less than that.

Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 300 g (0.7lb) Lebanese cucumbers straight from the fridge (note 1)
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped ginger and garlic (note 2)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp sesame oil
Garnish (optional)
  • 1 tsp finely julienned ginger
Instructions
  1. Cut both ends of the cucumbers and discard.
  2. Put the cucumbers in a zip lock bag, remove as much air as possible (otherwise, the bag might blast when hit) and seal the bag. Place the bag on a work surface.

  3. Smash the cucumbers using a rolling pin or an empty bottle. Hit only several places on each cucumber so that it will break into bite size or large bite size pieces. If there are large or long pieces, you can break them with your hands later.

  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bag. Shake the bag and massage to mix them well.
  5. Transfer the smashed cucumbers into a serving bowl/plate. If there is a lot of liquid in the bag leave some unused.
  6. Place julienned ginger on top of the cucumber pile if using. Serve immediately (note 3).
Recipe Notes

1. I used 2 Lebanese cucumbers that weighed about 300g (0.7lb) in total. You can use other types of cucumbers such as English or telegraph. Any fresh cucumbers that are suitable for salad with skin on are good.

If serving immediately, use chilled cucumber as Smashed Cucumber Salad should be served cold.

2. You can reduce the amount of garlic/ginger or even omit one of them if you like. In my view, ginger gives the dish freshness and makes it suitable as a summer salad.

3. You can store the bag of cucumbers with all other ingredients in the fridge for up to 2 hours before serving. While in the fridge, the cucumbers produce more liquid. If there is too much, you may wish to discard some when serving.

4. PS. One of the readers, Elle reminded me of a great tip to reduce bitterness of the cucumber. I used to do this back in Japan but the cucumbers I used in Sydney is called Lebanese cucumber and I don't need to do it. So I omitted this tip. 

"A great tip for removing the bitterness from cucumber is to slice off one end 1.5cms & rub the cut side round & round the open end of the rest of the cucumber for a minute or so. You will see a thick white paste rise to the surface. This is what makes the cucumber bitter. Rinse off & you will enjoy the cucumber like never before."