Kirby Cucumbers

By Melissa Petitto   |   July 9, 2024

The sun has been playing hide and seek with us lately. Even with the little we have had, however, the Farmers’ Market shows all the signs of Summer! Moua Family Farm has one of my daughters and my favorite snacks, the Kirby cucumber. This little crunchy fruit, yep not a vegetable, is full of beneficial nutrients, antioxidants, and soluble fiber. A part of the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash, and melons, the skin of the cucumber is where most of the vitamins and nutrients are located, so eating the peel is the best way to ensure you ingest those as well as fiber. Containing 96% water, they are also incredible for hydration. Staying hydrated is needed for digestion, joint pain, kidney function, memory function, and regulating body temperature. Cucumbers are also a great source of vitamin K and Calcium. The two combined are excellent for our bone health. One of my favorite ways to eat cucumbers is by pickling them, this adds to the health benefits of this fruit by turning them into a probiotic for our gut health. When fermented, they now contain the good bacteria that aid in feeding our gut microbiome, a necessity for our overall health. Cucumbers are also high in Cucurbitacin B or CuB, a naturally occurring plant compound presently being studied for its effect on cancer cells. This compound is showing signs of stopping cancer growth and possibly destroying cancer cells. Let’s take these delicious cucumbers into the kitchen. 

Chinese Smashed Cucumber Salad 

Yield: 4 Servings

8 each Kirby cucumbers 
½ teaspoon kosher salt 
4 each garlic cloves, minced 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar (black rice vinegar) 
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 
1 tablespoon unprocessed sugar 
1 tablespoon crunchy garlic and chili oil 
½ cup fried shallots (store bought is great) 


1. Place the cucumbers onto a cutting board. Slice each cucumber in half lengthwise and then using the side of a cleaver or large knife, smash each half. Continue to smash all the halves, then cut it crosswise into bite
sized pieces. 

2. Transfer the bite sized pieces of cucumber to a colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl. 

3. Add the soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and garlic chili oil. Toss to coat. Allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. 

4. Serve topped with fried shallots.  


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