Smashed cucumbers are popular for their freshness, brightness, and richness because (as it often happens with Asian cuisine) they combine all the basic tastes: salty (from the salt and soy sauce), sweet (sugar), sour (vinegar), bitter and hot (chili) and umami (soy sauce again).However, it's not just the contrasts of taste that stick with you and make you want more. They’re supposed to be served cold, right out of the fridge. So, when you eat them with a hot main course, you really feel the contrast of temperatures. This has a great effect on the taste buds!
Wash the cucumbers and place them on a flat, clean surface. Smash them with the bottom of a heavy pan. Alternatively, put the flat blade of a cleaver on top and pound it several times with your fist, going all the way around the cucumber.
Cut the cucumber lengthwise and cut into slices that are between 1 and 2 cm wide.
Transfer the sliced cucumbers to a sieve. Place the sieve in a bowl where the juice will drain into. Salt the cucumber with a good pinch of salt, stir and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. Mix the rice vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the finely chopped garlic and the sesame oil. Leave to infuse
After 15 minutes, transfer the cucumbers to a serving plate, pour half of the dressing over them, and stir. Pour more dressing over so the cucumbers are covered with it, but not floating in it. Serve immediately.