Smashed Cucumber Salad

This is such a fresh and simple salad! And it’s fun to whack the cucumbers. Removing a few strips of peel from the cucumber makes it easier to smash—plus, it looks cool. Just keep your fingers out of the way, and go easy. You just want to soften them—not turn them into juice. “My family loved it,” Kids Advisory Board member Jai Kalwani reported after testing this recipe at home.

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Hands-on time: 15   |    Total time: 75   |    Makes: 3 cups


Cutting board
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Measuring spoons
Plastic bag
Small frying pan or rolling pin
Small mixing bowl
Flexible spatula or spoon


1 english cucumber, washed, trimmed, and partially peeled
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon white or rice vinegar


  1. Put the cucumber in the plastic bag and put the bag on the cutting board.
  2. Gently hit the cucumber with the frying pan or rolling pin until it is smashed.
  3. Chop the smashed cucumber into 1- to 1½-inch pieces (if they’re not already small enough from smashing).
  4. Put the cucumber pieces in the bowl, add the salt and vinegar, and stir well. Taste a piece of cucumber. If it needs a pinch more salt or a splash more vinegar, add it and then taste again. Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 1 hour.


  • Add 1 small garlic clove, peeled (see page 5) and finely chopped.
  • Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
  • Add 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.
  • Swap in lemon juice for the vinegar.