- 4 seedless hothouse cucumbers
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 Tbsp mirin or seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 Tbsp chili oil
- 1 scallion, white and green parts thinly sliced
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
This salad has some real crush-the-patriarchy energy. (Pulverize those phallic symbols!) It’ll also cool you off while boosting your physical and mental health. Smashing the cucumbers is not only cathartic, it gives these cukes a tantalizing texture and preps them (by cracking the cell walls) to really soak up zesty dressing.
Step 1: Smash
Clean the cucumbers and slice off the ends. One at a time, place a cucumber in a large heavy-duty zip-top freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and seal the bag. Set the bag on a sturdy work surface. With one hand, hold the cucumber in place, and smash it using your other fist. (Or, smash with a hefty skillet or a wide metal spatula.) The cucumber will naturally break into long strips. Remove the smashed cucumber pieces from the bag. Repeat the process with the remaining cucumbers. Once all cucumbers are smashed, break the strips into bite-size pieces by hand.
Step 2: Soak
In a mixing bowl, toss the smashed cukes with the salt. Set aside for at least 30 min, occasionally draining off the liquid and tossing the cukes in the bowl again. While the cucumbers are releasing water, clean, seed, and julienne the bell pepper; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, mirin or vinegar, sesame oil, and miso paste. Don’t try to make the dressing emulsify; it isn’t meant to. Drain off any remaining liquid from the cucumber bowl, and add the bell peppers and dressing to the bowl. Toss it all together until evenly coated. Cover and marinate in the fridge for up to 12 hours.
Step 3: Serve
Transfer the marinated salad to a serving platter. Drizzle with chili oil. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Devour, triumphantly.