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This Chinese-inspired cucumber salad is a great crunchy, flavorful side dish that you can serve alone or pair with your favorite rice dish, noodles, or some seaweed snacks. Gluten Free, Vegan.
The Smashed cucumber salad is packed with high-protein edamame, crunchy, cool pickles, tangy scallions, and a tangy, tangy dressing that will leave you wanting more. All it takes is 25 minutes and 10 affordable ingredients to make this easy recipe.
Table of contents
- All about this crispy, no-fuss dish
- serving suggestions
- How to store mashed cucumber salad
- Substitutions and Variations
- Recipe FAQs
- Recipe for Edamame Salad with Mashed Cucumbers
All about this crispy, no-fuss dish
Today’s Edamame Salad was born out of a need for a quick and easy lunch that… Also keep me full until dinner. And while I have plenty of high-protein lunch ideas on the blog, I’ve been craving a salad that’s crunchy, flavorful, and hot, and doesn’t need to be cooked at all.
I’m happy to say that this Edamame Salad with Mashed Cucumber ticks all the boxes. The crushing technique makes the cucumbers more tender and juicy and allows them to absorb the aromatic sauce in an unprecedented way. If you’ve only tried my Crispy Cucumber Dill Salad or my White Bean Cucumber Salad so far, you’ll be delighted!
Enjoy it as a side dish, refreshing afternoon snack or light lunch on a hot summer day.
What you need for a mashed cucumber salad
This edamame salad is made with the classic Chinese cucumber salad ingredients plus a few extra ingredients to make it more filling. Here are the basics, plus some replacement options:
- cucumbers: A crisp, crunchy, and refreshing vegetable that’s affordable and easy to find year-round.
- Dressing: A combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, homemade chili oil, and raw garlic is all you need to make this flavorful dressing. You can even substitute agave syrup for the maple syrup, sriracha for the chili oil or a pinch of red pepper flakes, and another neutral oil for the toasted sesame oil.
- Edamame: Shelled edamame is a great source of protein and fiber, helping to make this edamame salad filling enough to keep you full until lunchtime. I like to buy pre-peeled edamame beans at Trader Joe’s, but you can also find them in most major grocery stores’ frozen sections.
- Green Onions: Adds a mild bite without overpowering the flavor of the dressing. If scallions aren’t an option, try scallions.
- Sesame seeds: The source of extra crunch, visual interest, and essential nutrients like healthy fats, protein, and a variety of minerals. Try white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, or golden sesame seeds. Or opt for toasted sesame seeds for an enhanced nutty flavor.
How to make a mashed cucumber salad
- smashed Roll out the cucumbers with a rolling pin or the flat side of a wide knife. disc Cut into 1/2″ bite-sized pieces, then place the cucumbers in a colander.
- sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt; Leave the pickles relax Let steep for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain.
- In the meantime, whisk Mix the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine Place the drained, salted cucumber chunks, dressing, edamame, scallions, and sesame seeds in a large bowl.
- surcharge immediately, or marinate Let the cucumber edamame salad rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
Caitlin’s cooking tips
- Do not rinse the cucumbers! After salting the cucumbers, you might be tempted to rinse off the remaining salt, but that would defeat the purpose of salting the cucumbers in the first place. The salt pulls the excess moisture out of the cucumbers, and rinsing it off puts the water right back into the cucumbers.
- Avoid cucumbers with a higher seed content. I like to use Persian cucumbers because they are notorious for being seedless or “burpless” because the seeds present are minimal and tender. If Persian pickles are not an option, I would recommend Armenian pickles or Japanese pickles. If possible, avoid slicing cucumbers or English cucumbers.
- Check your edamame. Some frozen edamame are pre-cooked, while others require the edamame to be cooked first. Read package directions carefully and re-cook if necessary.
This Asian Cucumber Edamame Salad can be served as a light lunch, side dish, or over garlic rice or noodles like these Peanut Noodles for a heartier main course. It’s also delicious with a few sheets of nori or seaweed snacks on the side.
If you’re looking for the perfect main dish to pair with this cold salad, try this 30-Minute Teriyaki Tofu, Cashew “Chicken” or Crispy Orange Tofu!
If you’re looking for more veggie side recipes, you’ll also love these Roasted Honeynut Squash with Miso Maple Glaze, these Easy Green Garlic Beans, and this Tomato Cucumber Basil Salad!
How to store mashed cucumber salad
Stored in an airtight container, this side dish will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It is not recommended to freeze this salad.
Substitutions and Variations
- Gluten Free Option: Use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Warm salad variant: I recommend this salad cold, but if you prefer a warm salad, heat this side dish in a warm saucepan until heated through.
- Milder heat: If you’re heat sensitive or sharing this salad with the whole family, reduce or omit the chili oil and substitute a neutral oil like avocado oil or olive oil to balance the acidity in the dressing.
- Add vegetables: If you want to increase the veggies in this side dish, add some shredded carrot, diced red bell pepper, or finely shredded cabbage for a nice crunch.
- Add a protein boost: As it is, this edamame salad is a good source of protein thanks to the edamame, but you can boost it even further by adding your favorite chopped nuts like cashews or almonds, or even some smoky marinated tofu, this Easy Crispy Tofu, or Easy Baked Tempeh .
The key to keeping excess water out of your cucumber edamame salad is to salt the cucumbers beforehand. This process draws out the excess moisture from the mashed cucumbers and improves the overall texture of the dish by making the cucumbers crispier.
That’s really personal preference, but if you want my opinion, “Skin-on” is best. This keeps the pickles crunchy, adds texture to the salad, and increases the overall nutritional value of the edamame salad.
Smashing the cucumbers destroys their cell walls and releases various flavors that cannot be obtained from regular slicing.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and want to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also appreciate if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
- 8th ounces Persian cucumbers
- prize from salt
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1-3 teaspoon Chili oil*
- 1 large clove of garlic crushed
- 12 ounces peeled edamame cooked if necessary*
- 3 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon Sesame seeds
Smash the cucumbers: Trim the ends of each cucumber, then slice in half lengthwise. Using a rolling pin or the flat edge of a chef’s knife, press down on each cucumber half, using the palm of your hand to press each cucumber from end to end. Cut into ½ inch pieces, then repeat with the remaining cucumbers. Place the cucumbers in a sieve and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Leave for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain the water that comes out; do not rinse.
Prepare the dressing: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, chili oil, and sesame oil. Mix well and set aside; The vinegar will soften the taste of the garlic.
Combine: Add the drained cucumber pieces to the bowl with the dressing along with the edamame, spring onions and sesame seeds. Mix well to combine; Serve immediately or let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving cold. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days and can be enjoyed as a side dish or main course along with cooked rice or pasta.
- Chili oil: If you are sensitive to heat, reduce or omit the amount of chili oil. However, I recommend replacing the chili oil with a neutral-tasting oil like olive oil or avocado oil to balance the acidity of the dressing.
- Edamame: Some frozen edamame are pre-cooked, while other brands require the edamame to be cooked first. Read package directions carefully and cook as needed!
Calories: 659kcalCarbohydrates: 67GProtein: 39GFat: 28GSaturated Fatty Acids: 2GPolyunsaturated fat: 6GMonounsaturated fatty acids: 8thGSodium: 1023mgPotassium: 2104mgFiber: 17GSugar: 18GVitamin A: 607IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 382mgIron: 12mg