"Smashing or bruising a cucumber cracks the skin and releases the seeds, leaving the flesh in gorgeous jagged pieces," explains Tan. "The cucumber is then salted to draw out the moisture and concentrate the flavour, and a simple dressing creates a salad in minutes. Every Chinese family has variations of the dish. Some add ground Sichuan peppercorns, others sesame paste. My mother added chopped dried shrimps. By all means experiment; just don't whack the cucumber to smithereens."
This recipe from Hong Kong Food City by Tony Tan (Murdoch Books, $49.99) has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.