Cucumbers are an extremely versatile vegetable that can be prepared in many ways beyond eating them raw. When cooked, cucumbers take on a mellow, almost buttery flavor while still retaining some freshness and crunch. In this article, I will teach you how to cook cucumbers in 2 different ways are sauteed cucumbers recipe and Chinese smashed cucumbers recipe

1. How To Cook Cucumbers

1.1. Sauteed Cucumbers Recipe

In this stir fry recipe, sliced cucumbers are quickly sauteed with seared beef for a fresh, yet hearty one pan meal.


  • 1 lb flank steak or sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 English cucumbers, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Rice vinegar, to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


In a bowl, toss the beef with 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Let marinate 15 minutes.

In another bowl, toss the cucumbers with the cornstarch until evenly coated.

Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the beef in a single layer and stir fry 1-2 minutes until starting to brown. Transfer beef to a plate.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the wok. Add the cucumbers and stir fry 2 minutes.

Return the beef and juices to the wok. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes until the cucumbers are just tender but still crisp.

Remove from heat and add the sesame oil, remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and a splash or two of rice vinegar to taste.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds to serve. Enjoy over steamed rice.

1.2. Chinese Smashed Cucumbers Recipe

This popular Chinese cold appetizer features cucumbers that are smashed and then tossed in a savory sesame garlic dressing. It’s light, fresh and full of flavor.


  • 3 medium cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced


After halving and seeding the cucumbers, lay them cut side down on a cutting board and smash them with the flat side of a meat mallet or heavy bottomed pan until flattened but still intact. Cut into 2-inch pieces.

Toss the smashed cucumbers and salt together in a colander set over a bowl. Let drain 30 minutes, then rinse and gently squeeze dry.

In a bowl, combine the garlic, sesame seeds, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper.

Add the drained cucumbers and green onions and toss until evenly coated in dressing.

Cover and chill 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop before serving.

These flavorful cucumber cooking methods highlight how tasty they can be when prepared beyond just eating raw. Sauteing caramelizes their sweetness while smashing helps them soak up spices and dressings. Next time you see a bounty of cucumbers at the market, try these recipes to enjoy them in a whole new way.

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Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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