If there is one vegetable that’s loaded with water content, it’s the cucumber.
They are known to be very versatile vegetables and taste good with pretty much anything. You can add them to a salad, or sandwich or just eat them as it is.
This vegetable is the perfect snack as it fills your stomach and provides essential nutrients with lesser calories.
But did you know you should crush a cucumber before eating it if you want to get the best flavour possible?
Smashed cucumbers seem to be everywhere, from restaurant menus to recipe columns.
Whether the inspiration is Asian, Middle Eastern or European, the technique is universal – but it is not new.
Smashing cucumbers is an ancient Chinese practice, where it is paired with the hot & spicy food of Sichuan province to balance the heat.
Let’s take a look at why you should consume it crushed.
1. Better taste
Usually, we wash a cucumber and then just cut it into pieces. However, there is one more step that you apparently need to do before serving pieces. Apparently, cucumbers become tastier if you crush them first. Besides the fact that they taste better by crushing, they also pick up other flavours better when crushed/smashed. One can also sprinkle some salt on the crushed cucumber cubes or slices and put them in the fridge for about half an hour. You’ll notice the vegetable will take on a fresh, green colour and have an even better taste. It’s said that when added to a salad, crushed cucumbers will absorb the dressing far better.
2. Rich water content
Part of the reason why cucumbers contain so few calories is that they consist mostly of water. Because of this, they can also absorb other flavours. That’s why chefs and home chefs from Asian cuisine have been using this technique of crushing cucumbers before slicing them for a long time. The reason for this is most likely to make sure the vegetable dries out a little bit. This way, it will become more flavoursome and it can absorb other flavours better.
This is how you crush the cucumber
The best way to ‘smash’ the cucumber is to cut the vegetable into a few pieces first. Then, press the pieces with a large knife (flat side) and crush the pieces just like we do with garlic cloves. And no, the cucumber should not be crushed as flat as a dime, but just gently. When done, you can cut it into pieces and consume it easily!