Asian cucumber salad with crunchy cucumbers, onions, sweet red peppers and a flavorful dressing! This vegan and gluten free salad is a wonderful side dish to any Asian meal.
With just a few simple ingredients, this salad is ready in 15 minutes, perfect quick and easy for weeknights!
For Asian recipe inspirations do check out tofu stir fry, braised tofu, bao, vegan pho, pad thai, Thai fried rice, veg fried rice, gobi manchurian.
Easy Cucumber Salad With Asian Style Dressing!
I love cucumber salad, leave salad I just love eating plain sliced cucumbers. Fresh and crunchy cucumbers are a delight on their own and do not need much help.
But how about a flavorful Asian style dressing that is will just perk up the cucumbers without taking away their crunch? That would be great right?
That is what this Asian cucumber salad is about. Sliced cucumbers, onions and just a bit of red bell peppers, all tossed in a flavorful crunchy dressing.
So what goes in the dressing you ask? All delicious things predominantly used in Asian recipes like sesame oil, soy sauce (I have used tamari here), cilantro leaves, pepper corns, vinegar and brown sugar. If that’s not enough there are sesame seeds!
This salad is an all time favorite and I end up making this very often. Yes, it is so quick and easy to make, goes well with Asian mains and most importantly is so so delicious.
Whenever I make this, I always make a double batch and refrigerate some to snack through the day. Marinated salad tastes even better, though cucumber looses its crunch a bit.
This is a real simple recipe. All you have to do is chop the veggies, mix the dressing ingredients and toss everything together.
The interesting aspect of this Asian cucumber salad recipe is crunchy toppings. This salad is served with generous amount of roasted and crushed peanuts which I simply love.
If you are like me and love salad bowls as meals, this is one wonderful option for you during summer when cucumber is in season.
You can vary the ingredients for both salad and dressing and make it differently every time. Checkout my notes and tips at the end of the recipe.
Do try this simple salad and I am sure you are going to love it.
This Asian Cucumber Salad Is
Delicious, fresh with very flavorful dressing.
Super simple to make
Gets ready in 15 minutes
Vegan and gluten free
topped with crunchy peanuts.
Ingredients You Will Need
Cucumbers– You can use variety of cucumber really. If you English cucumber or salad cucumber, go ahead and use it. If you have only the local variety handy, that also tastes good in this salad.
And you really don’t have to remove the seeds and all. I never do, just rinse peel if you prefer and slice.
Just make sure the cucumbers you use are not bitter and snap of the edges.
Onions– Onions add a nice perk and some spice to this salad and compliments the cucumber well. I never used to combine cucumber and onions until I tasted this cucumber Asian salad. These two pair up very well actually.
I have used regular red onions here. For more Asian touch you can add sliced shallots or for milder flavor ue sliced white onions. You can also use green onion stalks here. Feel free to mix and match, add two varieties of onions and find out what suits your taste, salads are meant to experiment after all 🙂
Red peppers– I like to add very finely chopped red bell peppers for slight sweetish spicy taste. Red bell peppers goes really well especially when you are serving this salad for kids.
However if you want your salad spicy you can use 2-3 finely chopped bird’s eye chili too.
Dressing for cucumber salad
Toasted sesame oil– I highly recommend this oil for this salad dressing. If toasted sesame oil is unavailable you can use regular sesame oil or light olive oil. Sesame oil imparts a wonderful flavor to this salad.
Vinegar– Vinegar lends a wonderful tangy taste and also keeps the salad well for 1-2 days. Use good quality ones for best results. I have used rice vinegar here. Lemon juice also works in a pinch instead of vinegar. Use same quantity mentioned.
Tamari– A tiny splash of tamari or soy sauce elevates the flavor of this salad a lot. You light or dark soy sauce or gluten free tamari.
Minced ginger-garlic– Very small quantity of freshly minced ginger and garlic adds so much to the flavor profile of this salad.
Brown sugar- To lend a slight sweet taste and to compliment all the heat from peppers, onions and peppercorns. Use regular sugar or even honey if brown sugar is not available.
Other ingredients– Finely chopped coriander or cilantro leaves, freshly cracked black peppercorn, toasted white sesame seeds, roasted and crushed peanuts for topping.
How To Slice Cucumber For Salad?
While most of the recipes call for very thinly sliced cucumbers say 1/8inch slices, I like to slice them with 1/4 inch thickness.
If you slice the cucumbers very thin, they tend to turn soggy sooner. For me slightly thick slices works perfectly.
Next it is easier to slice the cucumbers using a mandoline slicer, but if you are making in small quantities using a sharp chef’s knife is more than enough. Just make sure to get slices with uniform thickness.
I like to peel part of the cucumber and create stripe like pattern. This makes the salad visually pleasing, as well as you get to retain part of the wonderful crunch from the peel. Also peeled cucumber turns soggy sooner.
How Long Can You Store This Salad?
This cucumber salad Asian keeps well for a week as we are using vinegar. However the cucumbers and other vegetables do turn soggy after a day or two.
My suggestion is to use this up in two days.
This is a super flavorful, crunchy and delicious salad that will perk up the taste of any meal.
You can serve this salad as a side dish in Asian fare consisting of fried rice, noodles etc.
This also very well a side with rice, thai panag curry or thai red curry.
You can also serve this along with snacks like pot stickers, bao buns etc.
How To Make Asian Cucumber Salad
Rinse, peel if desired and slice the cucumber with 1/4 inch thickness. Thinly slice the onions, remove seeds from red bell pepper and chop it very finely.
Place the chopped vegetables in a bowl.
In a small bowl place the dressing ingredients- toasted sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, coriander leaf, sesame seeds, freshly cracked black peppercorns and salt.
Mix well with a spoon.
Add the dressing to the prepared vegetables.
Toss well. Add crushed peanuts and mix.
Serve Asian cucumber salad immediately or cover well and refrigerate until serving.
I hope you will try this Asian cucumber salad recipe and enjoy as much as we did. P
Asian Cucumber Salad
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 2.5 cups peeled and sliced cucumbers from 3 small cucumbers
- 1/2 cup sliced onions
- 1/2 cup very finely chopped seeded red bell peppers
- 3 tablespoons roasted and crushed peanuts
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce I have used tamari
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons very finely chopped cilantro leaves
- Rinse, peel if desired and slice the cucumber with 1/4 inch thickness. Thinly slice the onions, remove seeds from red bell pepper and chop it very finely.
- Place the chopped vegetables in a bowl.
- In a small bowl place the dressing ingredients- toasted sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, coriander leaf, sesame seeds, freshly cracked black peppercorns and salt.
- Mix well with a spoon.
- Add the dressing to the prepared vegetables.
- Toss well. Add crushed peanuts and mix.
- Serve immediately or cover well and refrigerate until serving.
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