10-Minute Asian Cucumber Salad

5 from 2 votes
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Crisp, bright, and a with kick of spice, this Asian Cucumber Salad has it all. Plus, it’s ready in just 10 minutes with minimal ingredients.

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Asian cucumber salad styled in a bowl topped with chopped cashews.

Why You’ll Love this Asian Cucumber Salad

With temperatures starting to rise, cucumber salads are always a welcome lunch contender.

Much like my Cucumber Avocado Salad, it’s a refreshing side dish for all your warmer weather meals.

What really sets this recipe apart is the crunchy roasted cashew topping. Beyond crunch, their touch of sweetness balances the zippy sesame dressing beautifully.

I love serving this simple salad alongside my Miso-Maple Salmon with a side of rice. The cooling, crunchy nature of the salad pairs especially well with the richness of salmon.

It’s also the perfect accompaniment to anything hot off the grill, such as my Turmeric Chicken or Shrimp Skewers.

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls with labels.
  • Cucumbers: Look for Persian cucumbers, also known as mini snacking cucumbers. Their skin is super thin, which means you don’t have to peel them. (Or scoop out their seeds!)
  • Sesame Oil: Look for toasted sesame oil, which has a much richer flavor.
  • Rice Vinegar: Compared to other vinegars, rice vinegar is quite mild, and gives the dressing a lovely sweet and sour flavor.
  • Sugar: A touch of sugar helps balance the tartness of the vinegar and spice of the chili-garlic sauce.
  • Chili-Garlic Sauce: For a touch of spice and garlicky goodness, add anywhere from 2 to 3 teaspoons, depending on your desired level of heat.
  • Cashews: Roasted, salted cashews work best here! Alternatively, you can use roasted peanuts.

Substitutions/Additions:

  • Use Sesame Sticks: In place of the crunchy cashew topping, sesame sticks are delicious in this salad!
  • Add Herbs: Such as finely chopped cilantro, mint, or scallions.
  • Make Spicy: Increase chili-garlic sauce to 1 Tbsp.
  • Add Red Onion: Thinly sliced red onion or shallots are a wonderful addition here.

The Directions

Step 1: Salt cucumbers and let drain in a colander. Salting the cucumbers first mutes the fruit’s subtly bitter notes while heightening flavor.

Persian cucumbers being chopped on a cutting board and coasted in salt.

Step 2: Prepare dressing by combining rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, and sugar in a bowl; whisk to combine.

Dressing being whisked and poured over cucumbers in a bowl.

Step 3: Pour dressing over cucumbers and toss well. Garnish with cashews, and serve immediately.

Recipe FAQs

How to Store Cucumber Salad:

This salad tastes best the day it is made but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Taste and season the leftovers with a little extra salt, if needed.

Is Cucumber Salad Good for You?

Cucumber salad is low in calories, plus super hydrating due to cucumbers’ high water content. Cucumbers are also rich in the mineral silica, which helps keep skin healthy.

Which Cucumber is Best for Salad?

Persian cucumbers (also called mini cucumbers) are best for salads because they have thin skin and very few seeds.
They are smaller and more narrow than regular cucumbers, and have a crisp interior and mild flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Wondering what goes best with Asian cucumber salad? Here are a few of my favorite pairings:

Asian cucumber salad in a grey serving bowl.

More Cucumber Salad Recipes to Try:

If you try this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.

5 from 2 votes

10-Minute Asian Cucumber Salad

Crisp, bright, and a with kick of spice, this Asian Cucumber Salad has it all. Plus, it's ready in just 10 minutes with minimal ingredients.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls
  • Chef's knife

Ingredients  

  • 6 Persian cucumbers ("mini cucumbers"), cut lengthwise into halves, then sliced at a diagonal into thin pieces (about 1 lb.)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 tsp. chili-garlic sauce (depending on desired level of spice)
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted cashews (or peanuts)
  • Optional add-ins: finely chopped cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, sesame sticks, or scallions.
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Instructions 

  • Toss cucumbers with ½ teaspoon salt in a colander. Set aside to drain for 10 minutes.
  • Prepare dressing by adding rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili-garlic sauce, and sugar to a large bowl; whisk to combine.
  • Transfer salted cucumbers to the bowl with dressing and toss to coat. Add any additional add-ins, top with chopped cashews, and serve immediately.

Notes

*This salad is best enjoyed fresh as soon as you mix in the dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.66cup | Calories: 95kcal | Carbohydrates: 7.5g | Protein: 2.5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 136mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 5g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. Tori says:

    5 stars
    This dish packs a punch of bright and refreshing flavors! Bonus that it comes together so quickly. This will be a summer staple at our house!

  2. Aeil says:

    Delicious fast easy recipe
    Awesome flavors with very
    Little ingredients
    Thank you for sharing your
    Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️👍👍