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Grilled Ginger Chicken with Smashed Cucumbers

Smashing cucumbers is a traditional Chinese technique, which lends to a variety of textures in a cucumber salad. Pairing with marinated chicken thighs makes for a lighter summer dinner.

Serves 4
Ready in 28 mins
Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 13 mins
312 calories per serving


> 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
> 3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
> 3 tbsp rice vinegar, divided
> 4 tsp sesame oil, divided
> 1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
> 2 (12 oz) pkgs mini cucumbers
> 2 cloves garlic, minced
> Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)


In a large bowl, whisk together the ginger, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil, and 2 tbsp water. Add the chicken and toss with marinade. Let stand 10 min., or refrigerate overnight.
Meanwhile, rinse the cucumbers and pat dry. Cut cucumbers into 1-inch chunks. Place cucumbers on cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound cucumbers with a mallet or rolling pin until they are cracked and slightly flattened. Remove plastic wrap. Transfer cucumbers to a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle cucumbers with salt and toss. Let drain 15–30 min.
In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), and remaining 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp vinegar, and 2 tsp sesame oil. Season with salt. Transfer drained cucumbers to bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min., or until ready to serve.
When ready to cook chicken, set grill or grill pan to medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade and allow excess to drip off. Add chicken to grill and cook 12–16 min., until internal temperature reads 165°F, flipping halfway through. Serve with smashed cucumbers.

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