This salad is cool and fiery, refreshing and absolutely packed with flavor! Garlic, ginger, sesame oil, red pepper and soy sauce support the main character, craggy smashed cucumber and juicy shrimp. The perfect summer salad!
I feel like not only has summer finally arrived in Berlin, but I now have arrived in summer. It takes me a (now really hot☀️) minute to mentally adjust and let that grinchy soul of mine unfurl!
But now my season is here and I intend to enjoy every second of it! Especially since the hubs and I are now fully vaccinated (hooray for science! 🔬) and our holidays start next week. So much positive! Just what’s needed after the rather bleak past year.
This Asian inspired Spicy Smashed Cucumber & Shrimp Salad is a summer staple in our house. Light, fresh and packed with flavor, I could eat this daily!
Smashing the cucumbers is fun, very therapeutic and makes for lovey rugged edges that your dressing can cling too.
Apropos dressing: this recipe makes plenty of dressing. Because I love my salads swimming in dressing (the more to mop up with crusty bread afterwards!) and if you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends. Just kidding, of course. I’ll still say hi if I meet you on the street, but I may not linger to talk… 😂
This is the recipe that will accompany you all summer!
220 g deveined and cooked shrimps
1 large English cucumber
1 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds plus more as garnish
1/2 cup cilantro leaves as garnish
Cut the cucumber lengthwise down the middle. Halve the halves and then halve again until you have pieces about 4 inches (10 cm) long.
Lay each piece with the flesh side down. Place the flat side of a large knife on the piece and smash down on it with your other hand. The cucumber seeds will start to seperate from the flesh and the skin will crack. This may take a few smashes. Scrape away any remaining seeds and discard. Break the cucumber pieces into smaller, bite size bits.
Place the cucumber bits into a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and toss so the salt coats the cucumber. Place a double wad of paper towel on the cucumbers and a small plate on top of that. Then weigh down with something heavy like a few cans or a cast iron pan. Place in a high bowl and set aside to drain for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, add the chopped red onion, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the shrimps and toss in the dressing until well coated. Refrigerate.
When the cucumber bits are ready and drained, pat them dry with a fresh wad of paper towel.
Add to the bowl with the shrimps. Add the sesame seeds and toss until combined.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with another sprinkling of sesame seeds and the cilantro leaves.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.