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Smashed Cucumber Salad with Hot Vinegar

['5 mini seedless or Persian cucumbers or 1 small English hothouse cucumber (about 12 oz.)', 'Kosher salt', '4 red or green Thai chiles, halved lengthwise keeping stem end intact, or 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced', '2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed', '1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar', '2 Tbsp. fish sauce', '1 Tbsp. sugar', 'Chopped unsalted or salted roasted peanuts (for serving)']

Gently smash cucumbers with a rolling pin or the back of a heavy knife just to break open. Tear into irregular 2" pieces and place in a medium bowl; season lightly with salt. Let sit at least 5 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, whisk chiles, garlic, vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Let sit while cucumbers macerate.
Drain cucumbers, discarding any liquid they have released. Add to bowl with dressing and toss several times to coat. Top with peanuts.
Dressing can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

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