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Cucumber-Sesame Salad
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4.80 from 5 votes

Cucumber-Sesame Salad with Garlicky Chili Oil

Cucumber-sesame salad with yogurt, mint, and garlicky chili oil. This Asian-inspired cucumber salad is light and nutritious, and super easy to make.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: asian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings


  • Small skillet or saucepan
  • Serving bowl or platter


  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, Aleppo pepper, or gochugaru (see notes on spice level below)
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 lb. Persian or English cucumbers
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. soy sauce, fish sauce, or tamari
  • 3/4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt


  • Heat oil in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low.
    Once hot, add garlic and chili flakes; gently simmer until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Pour into a small bowl, stir in sesame seeds and 1/4 tsp. salt. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, slice cucumber(s) into 1-inch wide chunks. (I slice the cucumber width-wise into 1-inch long pieces, and then slice from top to bottom into 2 halves, and then diagonally into 4 spear-like chunks.)
    Place cucumbers in a bowl and add vinegar, mint, sugar, soy (or fish) sauce, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt; toss to combine.
  • To assemble, spread yogurt on a platter or in a wide-rimmed bowl. Top with cucumber mixture, and drizzle garlic chili oil overtop. Garnish with additional fresh mint and sesame seeds, if desired.


  • Aleppo pepper and gochugaru are far less spicy than crushed red pepper flakes. If using Aleppo or gochugaru, I would add 1 teaspoon. If using crushed red pepper flakes, start with 1/2 teaspoon and increase as tolerated for desired spice level.
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can prepare the cucumber mixture and chili oil up to 3 days ahead. However, I suggest waiting to assemble the salad until ready to serve. Just keep the cucumbers chilled and the chili oil covered at room temperature for best results.
  • SERVE WITH: Grilled chicken or fish, burgers, tofu, or shrimp skewers. 


Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 350mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g