Smashed Cucumber Salad (Tataki Kyuri)

Tons of flavour and fullness feeling, few calories!

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 mins
1 d
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4
Calories: 65kcal


The cucumbers

  • 2 large English cucumbers about 500g, feel free to find narrower varieties, these tend to be easiest to find for me
  • 1 L water
  • 30 g salt
  • 28 g pickled ginger
  • 5-10 g MSG or 10g kombu
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes

The dressing

  • 20 g sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce


The Cucumbers

  • Halve the cumbers, remove their seeds with a spoon, then cut into 2" long slices
  • Smash the cucumbers by laying them skin side up, placing the flat side of a knife over them and smashing down with the heel of your hand, cracking the back
  • Combine the water, salt, MSG / kombu, chilli flakes and ginger in a large pickling jar, put on the lid and shake vigorously until salt and MSG dissolve
  • add the cucumbers, seal and refrigerate 24-72 hours.

The dressing

  • Toast the seeds in a large pan over medium heat until darkened and fragrant, 4-8 minutes
  • Add the seeds to a mortar and pestle and grind into a coarse powder
  • Combine the ground seeds and soy sauce in a bowl and whisk to fully combine
  • Strain the pickles and to a large mixing bowl, coat with dressing and toss thoroughly to coat
  • Eat as a snack or serve over rice as a side


depending on your jar if you too many cucumbers are poking up above the liquid, consider using saran wrap to ensure they all stay submerged


Calories: 65kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3692mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg