Smashing cucumbers isn't only a fun way to make a salad it changes the texture and the way the cucumber soaks up the dressing. You could easily make this with just smashed cucumbers but I thought it would be nice to incorporate them into a whole meal. This punchy chicken salad is a delicious make ahead lunch or a nice light dinner.
2 english cucumbers
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 red pepper, seeds and pith remove and sliced thinly
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp chili-garlic paste
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Sesame oil
½ cup torn fresh cilantro
¼ cup torn fresh mint
4 cups cooked shredded chicken
Optional: ½ cup chopped peanuts
Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and place cut side down on to a cutting board.
Use a mallet or rolling pin and smash the cucumber along its length. Discard any seeds that pop out and then cut the cucumber into bite sized pieces.
Toss the cucumber pieces with 1/4 tsp salt and place in a fine meshed sieve, set over a bowl, to drain. Let the cucumber sit for 10min.
In a large bowl, whisk together ginger, chili-garlic paste, rice vinegar, canola, soy and sesame oil. Add in the cucumbers, cilantro, mint and shredded chicken and stir everything together.
Spoon the salad out on to a platter and garnish with chopped peanuts if using.
For a printable version of the recipe click here.