Sweet and sour cucumber salad (pai huang gua 拍黄瓜)

Sweet & Sour Cucumber Salad

A refreshing cool cucumber dish, perfect for summer, but also a great side dish in any season. This dish is popular in China where it’s called “pai huang gua” or 拍黄瓜. You can watch Carol smash the cucumbers and prepare this dish here on our youtube channel (click)


6 mini Cucumbers
½ teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
3 large cloves Garlic
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar (also called Zhenjiang Vinegar – or other rice vinegar)
½ tablespoon Sesame Oil
½ tablespoon Raw Honey
3 dried red Chilies (optional)
2 tablespoons Cooking Oil (optional)

Note: Chinese ingredients like Chinkiang Vinegar can usually be found at an Asian Supermarket

Sweet and sour cucumber salad (pai huang gua 拍黄瓜)
Sweet and sour cucumber salad (pai huang gua 拍黄瓜) made with raw honey


Cut the ends off the cucumbers and discard
Smash the cucumber by hitting it with the side of a heavy knife
Chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces (crosswise diagonally) and place into a serving bowl
Add the salt to the cucumber and let it marinate while preparing the glaze
Tip: you can taste the cucumber – if too salty, simply wash some salt off

Spicy Option:
Cut the chilies into small pieces or smash with a mortar and pestle
Add the chilies and oil to a small pot and heat briefly on medium heat until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes, remove from heat before the chilies burn)

Smash the garlic with a mortar and pestle

Add the raw honey, soy sauce and vinegar to a small, lidded jar (empty glass WEH jars work great!) and shake to mix

Drain excess water from the marinating cucumber
Add the garlic, chili oil (optional), glaze and sesame oil to the cucumber and mix

This refreshing side dish is ready to serve!

Sweet and sour cucumber salad (pai huang gua 拍黄瓜)
Pouring the raw honey glaze onto sweet and sour cucumber salad (pai huang gua 拍黄瓜)

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