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更新时间:2015-8-23 9:02:19 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Smashed Cucumber Salad Takes Manhattan

The difference between a sliced cucumber salad and a smashed cucumber salad reveals itself on first bite.


Sliced cucumbers have a smooth, impenetrable surface, and when you introduce them to dressing, they usually shrug it off. By contrast, smashed cucumbers are wide open: Their craggy edges and rough surfaces absorb flavors and form relationships in seconds.


Smashing (or smacking) cucumbers for salad is a standard technique in many parts of Asia that is showing its trendy side in New York this summer.


“It’s cool how just changing the way you break down an ingredient completely changes the way it feels and tastes,” said Danny Bowien, the chef at Mission Chinese Food on the Lower East Side.

“只不过是采用不同的方法处理食材,就能彻底改变它的口感和味道,这真的很酷,”下东区Mission Chinese Food餐厅的大厨丹尼·博温(Danny Bowien)说。

Here’s the technique: With one hand, the cook lays the blade of a knife flat on top of the cucumber, with the cucumber resting under the widest part of the blade. The heel of the other hand comes down sharply on the blade, as though the cook is smashing a garlic clove to remove its peel. (Alternatively, a wooden mallet or rolling pin can be used, as they are in Japan.)


Once smashed, the cucumbers are roughly sliced or broken up with the hands — even better for removing the watery seeds — then sprinkled with salt and briefly set aside. This process softens the skin, firms the flesh and turns the peel a bright and appetizing green. It’s important to use fresh, firm-fleshed cucumbers; old soft ones will turn to mush.


The Chinese staple cucumber salad, pai huang gua, is dressed with a vinaigrette of soy sauce, rice or black vinegar, garlic and sesame oil. In the North and West, chiles and sometimes Sichuan peppercorns are often added.


Smashed cucumbers have long been found at local Chinese restaurants, like Xi’an Famous Foods. But this summer, they are suddenly everywhere: At Mr. Bowien’s Mexican-influenced restaurant Mission Cantina, dressed with an intensely flavored, lime-, cumin- and oregano-spiked sesame paste; at the new Untitled at the Whitney, in a dish of soba noodles, baby turnips and tuna tartare; at the Ippudo ramen restaurants, where the cucumber is lightly smashed and dressed with sesame oil and garlic. (On the menu, it is called yamitsuki goma yuri, or “addictive sesame cucumber.”)

很早以前,纽约的一些中餐馆就有拍黄瓜,比如西安名吃(Xi’an Famous Foods)。但是今年夏天,突然之间,哪儿都是拍黄瓜。博温的墨西哥风味Mission Cantina餐馆是在拍黄瓜里加入味道浓郁的芝麻酱,芝麻酱里含有酸橙、孜然和牛至叶粉;惠特尼博物馆(Whitney)新开的无名餐厅(Untitled)是在荞麦面里加入拍黄瓜、小萝卜和鞑靼金枪鱼;一风堂拉面馆(Ippudo)是把黄瓜轻拍,用芝麻油和大蒜调味(它在菜单上的名字是“让人上瘾的芝麻油黄瓜”[addictive sesame cucumber])。

At Superiority Burger in the East Village, the craggy pieces are mixed with a fiercely tangy yogurt, drizzled with jalapeño honey and sprinkled with crushed sesame breadsticks.

东村的超级汉堡(Superiority Burger)餐厅把参差不齐的黄瓜块和味道浓烈的酸奶混合在一起,再撒上一点墨西哥青辣椒酱和芝麻棍子面包屑。

“There’s something about the roughness, and the variety of shapes and sizes, that you get with smashing that is incredibly satisfying,” said Julia Goldberg, a sous-chef who devised the dish with Brooks Headley, the chef and owner of Superiority Burger.

“拍黄瓜很粗糙,形状、大小不一,特别令人满意,”朱莉娅·戈德伯格(Julia Goldberg)说。她是超级汉堡餐厅的副主厨,她和餐厅的大厨兼老板布鲁克斯·黑德利(Brooks Headley)一起创造了那道菜。

Ms. Goldberg has figured out some useful tweaks to the usual method. She smashes the cucumbers inside a sealed plastic bag to keep the seeds from flying everywhere, and uses the same bag, filled with ice, as a weight on top of the draining cucumbers to make them even colder and crunchier.


“I love the idea of manipulating an ingredient with my hands instead of a knife for once,” she said.