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Asian Cucumber Salad

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5 from 34 votes
By Carine Claudepierre -
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This Asian Cucumber Salad is an easy 15-minute crunchy cucumber salad with a spicy soy dressing.

It’s the perfect side dish for any Chinese or Asian dinner.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian sauces are delicious on vegetables, and you might have tried one of my crowd-favorite Asian Brussels Sprouts, which are absolutely scrumptious.

But when it’s hot outside, or you feel like something fresh, light, and crunchy that doesn’t need baking, this salad is convenient.

What’s Asian Cucumber Salad?

An Asian cucumber salad is made from mini cucumbers, also called Persian cucumbers.

Some recipes use spiralized cucumber, which consists of cutting the cucumber in a spiral shape between chopsticks. It means that one cucumber creates one single long spiral.

But the most conventional recipe uses thinly sliced mini cucumber in a sweet, spicy sauce.

Let me share with you how I make a batch of this recipe in barely 15 minutes.

How To Make Asian Cucumber Salad

It takes only 15 minutes to make a batch of this easy Asian cucumber salad.

Ingredients

All you need are the following:

  • Persian Cucumber – These are tiny cucumbers, keep their skin on and slice them into 1/4-inch thick slices. You can use a mandolin or sharp knife.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Lime Juice or simply more rice vinegar.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil
  • Chili Oil – or more sesame oil if you don’t have chili oil or want’ a less spicy salad.
  • Soy Sauce – or tamari sauce if gluten-free.
  • Garlic – minced
  • Brown Sugar
  • Red Pepper Flakes – only if you didn’t use chili oil or the salad will be too hot.
Asian Cucumber Salad

Cutting The Cucumber

First, wash and pat dry the cucumber. Cut off the extremities of each mini cucumber with a long sharp kitchen knife. Don’t peel the cucumbers.

Now, use a mandolin or knife to cut each cucumber into thin slices of about 1/4 inches. Place the thinly sliced cucumbers in a salad bowl. Set aside.

How to make Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Salad Dressing

Make the Asian cucumber salad dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl: rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, and soy sauce.

Assembling The Salad

Pour the salad dressing onto the thin slices of cucumber and toss to coat evenly.

Refrigerate the salad for one hour for the best flavors.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Roasted Peanut Topping

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange the peanuts on the prepared baking sheet and roast dry for 6 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool down on the tray.

When cold to the touch, place on a chopping board and roughly chop the unsalted peanuts.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Serving Crunchy Asian Cucumber Salad

Remove the salad from the fridge and serve with the cooled, chopped roasted peanuts on top.

Toss to combine and add some more on the table if your guests want to give this salad more crunch.

Add some more chili flakes, fresh green onions slices, or cilantro.

Variations

Calling this salad ‘Asian’ is probably a bit general since there are so many different flavors in Asian cuisine.

Below I narrow down some ideas to adapt this recipe and make it fit your Asian theme:

  • Thai Cucumber Salad – Use lime juice instead of rice vinegar, add one tablespoon of fish sauce, and a bit of finely chopped Thai chili instead of chili oil. Keep peanuts on top and add cilantro.
  • Japanese Cucumber Salad – Replace the chili oil with more sesame oil and use dried chili pepper flakes.
  • Chinese Cucumber Salad – Replace the rice vinegar with black vinegar, also called Chinkiang vinegar.
  • Korean Cucumber Salad – Replace the chili oil with Gochugaru, also called Korean chili paste. Serve with sesame seeds instead of peanuts and green onions slices.

Allergy Swaps

Below I listed some options for you to try if you have some allergy to the ingredients used in this salad recipe:

  • Nut-Free – You can replace the roasted chopped peanuts with sesame seeds or sunflower seeds.
  • Gluten-Free – Replace the soy sauce with tamari sauce.
  • Chili-Free – Replace the chili oil with more sesame oil.
  • Sugar-Free– Replace brown sugar with any sugar-free sweetener you love, including brown erythritol.
Asian Cucumber Salad

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are my answers to your most common questions about this easy Chinese-style salad:

Should I Salt The Cucumber?

No. One of the common mistakes people make when making this Asian cucumber salad is to sweat the cucumber slices in salt.

This is a technique used to extract the water from the cucumber, but it’s not recommended for mini cucumbers.

In fact,  Persian cucumbers don’t contain much water, and therefore, they don’t need this step.

If you make them sweat, they lose all their crunch. It results in soggy soft cucumber slices, so not very appetizing.

Can I Use Regular Cucumbers?

English cucumbers are larger, and, therefore, they contain more water in their flesh.

If you only have this type of cucumber for this Asian salad recipe, make sure you sweat the cucumber first.

Place the cucumber slices in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, and let them sweat for 15 minutes.

Then, pat dry with absorbent paper before using them in the recipe.

Have you tried this crunchy Asian cucumber salad recipe? Share a comment or review below to connect with me.

Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad

2.8gNet Carbs
This Asian Cucumber Salad is an easy 15-minute crunchy cucumber salad with a spicy soy dressing. It's the perfect side dish for any Chinese or Asian dinner.
Prep: 10 mins
chill 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 10 mins
Yield: 4 people
Serving Size: 1 serving

Nutrition

Net Carbs 2.8g
Fat 7.6g
Protein 3.5g
Calories 95.5kcal
5 from 34 votes
Print

Ingredients

Dressing

Serving

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk all the Asian salad dressing ingredients. Set aside.
  • Trim the cucumber ends but keep their skin on.
  • Cut the cucumbers into 1/4-inch slices with a sharp knife or a mandolin.
  • Place slices in a salad bowl and top with the dressing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  • Place the salad in the fridge for 1 hour before serving for the best flavors.
  • Serve with chopped roasted peanuts (read the post above to learn how to roast unsalted peanuts) and chili flakes.

Storage

  • This salad is better the day it's made, but you can store leftovers for 24 hours in the fridge in an airtight container. This recipe can't be frozen.
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Nutrition Facts
Asian Cucumber Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 95.5 Calories from Fat 68
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.6g12%
Saturated Fat 1.1g7%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.6g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.6g
Sodium 514mg22%
Potassium 109.1mg3%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1.2g5%
Sugar 1.2g1%
Protein 3.5g7%
Net Carbs 2.8g
Vitamin A 149.4IU3%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 19.2mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
Magnesium 22.5mg6%
Zinc 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Carine Claudepierre

About The Author

Carine Claudepierre

Hi, I'm Carine, the food blogger, author, recipe developer, published author of a cookbook, and founder of Sweet As Honey.

I'm passionate about sharing easy, tasty recipes that are both delicious and healthy

Cooking and Baking is my true passion. In fact, I only share a small portion of my recipes on Sweetashoney. Most of them are eaten by my husband and my two kids before I have time to take any pictures!

Browse all my recipes with my Recipe Index.

I hope that you too find the recipes you love on Sweetashoney!

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The recipes, instructions, and articles on this website should not be taken or used as medical advice. You must consult with your doctor before starting on a keto or low-carb diet. The nutritional data provided on Sweetashoney is to be used as indicative only. The nutrition data is calculated using WP Recipe Maker. Net Carbs is calculated by removing the fiber and some sweeteners from the total Carbohydrates. As an example, a recipe with 10 grams of Carbs per 100 grams that contains 3 grams of erythritol and 5 grams of fiber will have a net carbs content of 2 grams. Some sweeteners are excluded because they are not metabolized. You should always calculate the nutritional data yourself instead of relying on Sweetashoney's data. Sweetashoney and its recipes and articles are not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose, or treat any disease. Sweetashoney cannot be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or advice found on the Website.