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szechuan cucumbers recipe card

Szechuan Cucumbers

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: side
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • 1 european cucumber
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground szechuan pepper
  • 1 fresh chili sliced thin or  ½ teaspoon dried chile flakes


  1. Cut cucumbers in half crosswise and then into quarters lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon. 
  2. Next put the cucumbers into a plastic bag (this prevents the splattering juice from getting all over you!)
  3. Use a mallet or the bottom of a heavy glass to bash the cucumbers. 
  4. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then into 2 inch pieces crosswise. 
  5. Toss cucumbers with the salt and let sit in a colander for 10 mins. And then set aside in a small bowl.
  6. While your cucumbers are sitting, combine the vinegar and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside. 
  7. Put the chili (flakes), ginger, and szechuan peppercorns together into a small bowl and set aside next to the stove. 
  8. Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes and then take the pan off the heat. Add the szechuan peppercorn mixture to the hot oil (It will bubble up furiously). Stir for 10 seconds with a spoon until the oil stops bubbling.  
  9. Pour the oil over the cucumbers and toss to combine.
  10. Next pour the vinegar syrup over the cucumbers. Refrigerate for an hour and then serve. The cucumbers will soften the longer they sit.


*You can find szechuan peppercorns in an Asian market or online at most spice purveyors. I only had whole peppercorns so I used a pepper mill to grind them to a coarse powder. You can also use a mortar and pestle if necessary.

Keywords: szechuan peppercorns, szechuan cucumbers