Easy Asian Cucumber Salad
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If you’re weighing up effort vs. reward for what meal to cook, this Easy Asian Cucumber Salad is going to be very high up on your list. This awesome Salad is so easy to make yet has so much depth of flavor you’ll think it has come straight out of the best Thai restaurant in town. It is a beautiful Salad consisting of sliced Cucumbers, Onions, Cilantro, and loads of delicious spices and aromatics that pack a huge amount of flavor into this unassuming salad

What are the key ingredients that make this Easy Asian Cucumber Salad taste so amazing?

The secret to this beautiful salad lies in the dressing. It’s not your typical vinaigrette dressing either. Far from it in fact! There are a couple of critical ingredients that go into the dressing which gives this awesome Cucumber Salad its unique flavor

Fish Sauce

It wouldn’t be a Thai dish without the inclusion of Fish Sauce now would it! This amazing ingredient is perhaps not for the faint hearted, but we highly encourage you to use it. Fish Sauce is made from fermented fish, typically Anchovies. It is a wonderfully rich sauce and has a very distinct flavor. Once it’s added to a dish it’s like it automatically transports the recipe to South-east Asia!

Lemon or Lime

This is a highly acidic Salad, care of the abundance of citrus that is added to the dish. You want to be using about ½ cup of citrus Juice from Lemons or Limes. Depending on how juicy your citrus is this could be around 3 – 4 of them. Acid is no stranger to Salads and this Easy Asian Cucumber Salad is no exception to that rule. Be generous with your acid and you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of bright flavor

For this recipe you can use either Lemon or Limes, both work very well. The traditional ingredient is Lime; however, we’ve also tried this recipe with Lemons, and it turned out amazing. You can even try a combination of both if you truly can’t decide!

Easy Asian Cucumber Salad with Ingredients
The delicious Sauce is what makes this Easy Asian Cucumber Salad so delicious

Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar

Another very popular ingredient in Thai cuisine is Palm Sugar. They come in the form of discs that can be shaved off to the desired quantity. It is, of course, sweet as it is Sugar, so you only need to use it sparingly in this salad. The Sugar not only adds a subtle sweetness to the salad, but it also helps to balance out the sharpness of the citrus fruits that have been added. It’s a critical component of the dish

Peanuts

It’s not a dish from South-east Asia unless it’s got Peanuts on it! They are such a great addition to Salad. I’m surprised they are not used more commonly in more western Salads. For this salad you roughly chop the peanuts up and mix them in with the salad dressing. They add a lovely crunchy texture and a little bit of sweetness to the dish

Garlic

Is there anything Garlic cannot do? I mean seriously. If we look at all the recipes we’ve published on this website, outside of the desserts I would say at least 95% of them have Garlic in them. It’s an amazing ingredient that brings a ton of beautiful flavor to dishes, of course, this Easy Asian Cucumber Salad being no exception to the rule

Don’t slice the Cucumbers too thin, you want to get a lovely, crunchy texture out of them

Avoid the temptation to dust off the Mandoline and instead slice the Cucumber into thin whole slices. Keep them thin, but enough for them to maintain a little bit of structural integrity in the bowl

Easy Asian Cucumber Salad on plate
Slice the Cucumbers with a knife, not a Mandoline, to maintain their beautiful crunchy texture

We want the Cucumber slices to be a little thicker than a typical Mandoline slice so that they maintain their crunchiness. Texture is so important in cooking, particularly when it comes to Salads. A crispier, crunchier Cucumber adds to the overall feeling of this salad being light, fresh, and vibrant

Cucumber is naturally quite a watery ingredient and will absorb that beautiful sauce extremely well. Cutting the Cucumbers a little thicker will help to ensure they maintain their consistency even when drenched in the delicious sauce

You can eat this beautiful Salad as a Side Dish or as its own meal

Like a lot of Salads, our Easy Asian Cucumber Salad is extremely versatile. Eat it as a side dish or starter to a main course. Or just pile up the salad on your plate and enjoy it as its own standalone lunch or dinner dish

If you are pairing this beautiful Cucumber Salad with other dishes, we highly recommend a dish which is on the sweeter side. Given the high levels of acid in this salad, it will complement a richer, sweeter dish perfectly. When we cooked this dish we made it alongside our amazing Beef Skewers with Peanut Sauce (LINK) and it was perfect. The richness of those Beef Skewers needed something refreshing, and this Easy Asian Cucumber Salad hit the spot perfectly

These kinds of Salad are so important to Asian food, particularly Thai Food. Thai food is famous for having bright, bold flavors. Which is why so many people around the world love it so much! Their dishes typically consist of rich, sweet flavors such as Palm Sugar, Coconut, and Fish Sauce. These flavors are intense, so they need a contrast to help balance out the meal

Therefore, a beautiful, light, acid-heavy salad such as this one is the perfect accompaniment to dishes that are on the sweeter side

Beef Skewers with Cucumber Salad
A beautiful Thai-inspired meal of Satay Beef Skewers with this delicious Cucumber Salad

If you’re just looking for a light Salad to enjoy for lunch or dinner, this will work exceptionally well too. We would recommend adding some additional textures and sweetness to the dish to help round out the overall flavor. One great ingredient to try is some lightly fried Shallots

Recipe Details

Servings

2 – 4 people

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

NA

Total time

10 minutes

Easy Asian Cucumber Salad Recipe

  • 1 Cucumber
  • ½ Red Onion, finely sliced
  • Juice of 3 – 4 Limes (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp. Fish Sauce
  • 2 tsp. Palm Sugar or Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 large Red Chili, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, finely diced
  • ½ cup Cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Instructions

  1. Begin by slicing the Cucumber into thin, whole circles with a knife. Do not use a Mandoline as we want the slices to be slightly thicker to maintain their crunchiness in the Salad
  2. Combine the Cucumber along with the Red Onion, and Cilantro in a medium sized bowl
  3. In a separate small bowl combine the Lime Juice, Fish Sauce, Sugar, ½ of the Peanuts, Chili, Garlic, Sesame Oil, and Salt. Mix well to combine the ingredients and taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary to your preferred taste
  4. Add the sauce into the bowl with the Cucumbers and toss to evenly coat
  5. Serve the Cucumber onto a separate serving plate, or individual plates. Finish with a sprinkling of the remaining chopped Peanuts and serve immediately

Note: If you want a spicier salad, retain some of the Chili seeds and add them to the sauce. Beware though, they are quite hot!

We hope you’ll enjoy eating this wonderful Easy Asian Cucumber Salad Dish. We’ve got a whole bunch of amazing Salad Recipes here. If you’re looking for some more Thai and Southeast Asian Inspired recipes, check out a few of our favorites recipes:

Happy Cooking!

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