When you’re craving pickles, nothing else will do. Quick pickles can satisfy your cravings in a few minutes, but often lack the flavour of their cooked-and-cooled cousins. If you smash those cucumbers before pickling, you can get the best of both worlds.
A classic Chinese side dish, smashed cucumber pickles absorb pickling liquid more easily than their traditional, sliced counterparts, and offer a great combination of flavours and textures.
Lay your cucumber on a sturdy cutting board and smash it with the flat side of a cleaver or other broad knife. Cut the smashed cucumber into chunks and salt it. Then let it drain for about ten minutes before adding your pickling liquid (in this case, rice vinegar, minced garlic, and sesame oil.) You can eat these on their own as a side dish, or toss them onto salads for a delicious hit of acidity.