Soups, Salads, and Sauces

Kate’s Smashed Cucumber Salad

smashed cucumber salad in a blue bowl with chopsticks
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Smashed Cucumber Salad

Our behind-the-scenes woman here at Anja Lee & Company whipped up a cucumber salad the other day that we couldn’t resist! It only takes 10 minutes to make and is full of flavor. Here is her special recipe – pairs perfectly with Baked Salmon Sushi.

Yield: 4 servings, Prep: 10 minutes, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined-sugar free


• 2 seedless cucumbers (about 1-1 ½ lbs)
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 2 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar or honey
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 3 teaspoons coconut aminos (liquid aminos and soy sauce work too)
• 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
• 2-4 cloves garlic (minced)
• 1-2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)
• 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
• ¼ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped (about ¼ cup)


1. Wash cucumbers and pat them dry with a clean towel. 

2. Make dressing by combining salt, sugar, sesame oil, coconut aminos and rice vinegar. Stir well with a fork or whisk until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Set aside.

3. On a cutting board, lay a large knife flat against the cucumber, and smash it lightly with your other hand. Cucumber should crack open and smash into four sections. Repeat along its full length. Once the whole cucumber is completely open (usually into 4 long sectional pieces), slice it at a 45-degree angle into bite-sized pieces.

4. In a large bowl, mix cut cucumber with prepared dressing, freshly minced garlic and chili oil. Toss well. Serve, garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro. 

*Note: if you prefer to omit the chili oil, heat up a tablespoon of oil in a pan and drizzle it over the cucumber. Seems weird, but in Chinese cooking, uncooked vs. cooked oil have different flavors and are treated this way!

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Meet Chef
Anja Lee

  • Founder of Anja Lee & Company, Anja Lee Catering and Silicon Chef (our company arm of Team-Building Cooking Competitions)
  • Food Network's Supermarket Stakeout CHAMPION! Season 4, Episode 13
  • Competitor in the Food Network's Cutthroat Kitchen
  • Chef for the Golden State Warriors & Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Cookbook author of 2 Cookbooks
  • World traveling culinary artist and master cooking & wine tasting instructor

Anja brings an appreciation for great food and cooking that will keep your team entertained from beginning to end!

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