Looking for a new quick and easy Whole30 summer salad?
Then it’s your lucky day, ’cause I’ve got an Asian-inspired smashed cucumber and carrot salad for you. It’s a simple and refreshing side that pairs perfectly with just about anything—especially proteins cooked on the grill. If you’ve got a jar of my All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce in the fridge, you have to make this dish. As I’ve said a million times before, this versatile sauce recipe from our newest cookbook, Ready or Not!, is a game changer because it can be used for so many other dishes besides stir-fries.
Case in point: Smashed Cucumber and Carrot Salad!
Chilled smashed cucumber salad seasoned with nutty sesame oil, garlic, and tangy vinegar is a classic Sichuan veggie side dish that’s served as a cooling contrast to the region’s traditionally spicy cuisine. Why smash the cucumbers? Gently bashing ’em with a cleaver helps expel some of the extra liquid during the initial salting process; plus, the jagged bits cling to more of the dressing when the salad is served. Smart, right?
Still, this wouldn’t be a Nom Nom Paleo dish without a shortcut involved! My version doesn’t call for a complicated dressing—instead, we just amp up my All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce with additional toasted sesame oil, fresh garlic, and a smidge of red pepper flakes, and use that as the dressing. And don’t sweat it if you don’t have time to add the extra stuff; plain old All-Purpose Stir-Sauce will still taste fantastic on it. You can even make this salad into a well-rounded meal by adding some protein and fat, like shredded cooked chicken and diced avocado!
Place the cucumbers on a large cutting board and gently smash them with a meat pounder, cleaver, or small cast iron skillet until they split open.
Trim the ends and cut the bashed cucumbers into bite-size pieces.
Grab a fine-mesh strainer or a colander that fits in a medium bowl.
Transfer the cucumber pieces to the colander and toss with kosher salt. Place the strainer and bowl with the salted cucumber in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients. (I’ve salted the cucumbers for as short as 5 minutes and as long as 4 hours.)
Got some All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce in the fridge? Great—use it! (And if not, it just takes a few minutes to shake a jar together, so do it already!) Then, in a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the All-Purpose Stir-Fry Sauce, minced garlic, sesame oil, and crushed red chile pepper.
Grab the drained cucumbers out of the fridge…
…and plop them to a bowl with the carrot noodles and most of the green onions.
Add the dressing…
…and toss well.
Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining green onions and toasted sesame seeds.
Wanna watch a replay of me cooking this dish live from my kitchen? Check out this Facebook Live video recorded on July 18, 2018:
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 15 mins
Yield 4 servings
This Asian-inspired smashed cucumber and carrot salad is a refreshing summertime Whole30 recipe. This simple side dish pairs perfectly with grilled meats!
You can even make this salad into a well-rounded meal by adding some protein and fat, like shredded cooked chicken and diced avocado!
Cuisine Asian, Chinese, Salad, Whole30, Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal
FB Video Course