April 27, 2022

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

This easy asian cucumber salad recipe is absolutely refreshing, quick and crisp! It begins with Persian cucumbers and a quick sauce that is marinated/tossed over the cucumbers. Truly the perfect side dish, or I will definitely just have this with some fluffy white rice and a soft egg.

Pair it with your favorite main, like this soy sauce New York steak.

Where is this Asian cucumber salad from?

This salad (and the dressing part of this recipe) is heavily inspired by Din Tai Fung, a popular Taiwanese restaurant, that is definitely one of my favorites (I dream of EVERYTHING there!) They have an amazing crispy, and refreshing cold cucumber salad that is topped with a garlic slice and pepper. It is served in a fun pyramid-style presentation.

I was also inspired by the popular slinky/acordian shape that I first saw on Nom Life, Girl From California and CJ Eats (all fantastic follows!)

Another amazing restaurant this recipe is inspired by is Little Fatty in Mar Vista, California, a Taiwanese restaurant that is a repeat spot for me. They have their cold cucumber salad with wood ear mushrooms that adds the perfect bite to this appetizer/side. So you can definitely add that in here as well!

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

What ingredients do you need for this cucumber salad?

Persian cucumbers: We are using Persian cucumbers here because I feel it works best for this recipe. However, you can use Japanese cucumbers, english cucumbers or even Kirby cucumbers, really whatever you can get your hands on.

Kosher salt: We’ll be soaking the cukes with kosher salt to get out the moisture! This helps the cucumbers stay crispy (and adds flavor!)

Garlic cloves: This adds a lovely texture note but also loads of flavor. It tastes amazing!

The sauce/the lovely asian cucumber salad dressing: sesame oil, chili oil or red pepper flakes, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar for a little sweetness, sesame seeds, green onions, birds eye chili or fresno chili (optional!)

Some other optional add-ons: fresh ginger, or even pickled ginger, wood ear mushrooms, sprinkling of chopped peanuts, mirin, honey instead of sugar.

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

Instructions to make the perf Asian cucumber salad

Prep your cucumbers

Using a pair of chopsticks on both sides (vertically) of your cucumbers, use a sharp knife and make small cuts at a 45 degrees angle over the chopsticks. They help you not slice all the way through! Flip the cucumbers and slice perpendicular slits to the first cuts.

Alternatively, you can just slice cucumbers to your desired rounds/inch preference, smashed or even thinly sliced on a mandoline/sharp knife.

Place your cucumbers in a medium bowl with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow all the cucumber’s moisture to release. Next, wash your cucumbers under cold water and dry well. Place back in the medium/large sized bowl.

Make your sauce

While your cucumbers are set aside, make your sauce. In a small bowl, mix sesame oil, chili oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, garlic, green onions/scallions and a birds eye chili or fresno chili. (You can also omit that all together). Whisk and stir well, set aside.

Pour over the sauce on the cucumbers

Add your vegetables (the cucumbers) back in your bigger bowl. Pour over your sauce. Mix well to get throughout the cucumbers. You can either eat right away, or place in the fridge to marinate for 15-20 minutes, and you can also wait overnight and eat it the next day. Serve and enjoy!

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

Tips, tricks and substitutions

What are some alternative cucumbers I can use for this recipe?

I like Persian cucumbers for this recipe. However, you can use Japanese cucumbers, seedless english cucumbers or even Kirby cucumbers, really whatever you can get your hands on.

Can I make this less spicy or without any spice?

Absolutely, remove the chili and the chili oil and have in mild that way.

What happens when you put salt on cucumbers?

For this recipe, we are salting our cucumbers first to get all the moisture out, it’s called osmosis. This helps for a few reasons. We are able to penetrate all the flavors this way by extracting all the moisture out of the cucumbers, we are also able to create a more crunchy and long-lasting cucumber salad this way as well! It also brings more salty-flavor to the inside of the cucumber as well. No under-seasoning here!!

Do I leave the skin on the cucumber for this/should I peel the cucumber skin?

I leave the skin on, but if you prefer, you can totally slice off!

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

What should I eat with these Asian cucumbers? Some ideas below!

Korean Roasted Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

Spicy Garlic Noodles

Kung Pao Crispy Chicken

Steak Ssam with Spicy Pickled Cucumbers

If you’re looking for another fun cucumber salad, check out these Korean Marinated Cucumbers, also known as Oi Muchim.

If you do make this Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic (first of all, thank you!!), be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram so I can be sure to see what you’re making! If you’d like to stay in touch and get the latest to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here as well!

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Watch How To Make This Recipe

YouTube video
Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

Asian Cucumber Salad with Chili and Garlic

This easy asian cucumber salad recipe is absolutely refreshing, quick and crisp! It begins with persian cucumbers and a quick sauce that is marinated over the cucumbers.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Salting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Persian or English cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil or flakes
  • ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  • Pinch of sugar and toasted sesame seeds to taste
  • 1/4th cup green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 fresno/birds eye chili optional

Instructions

  • Prep your cucumbers. Using a pair of chopsticks on both sides (vertically) of your cucumbers, use a sharp knife and make small cuts at a 45 degrees angle over the chopsticks. They help you not slice all the way through! Flip the cucumbers and slice perpendicular slits to the first cuts.
  • Alternatively, you can just slice cucumbers to your desired rounds/inch preference, smashed or even thinly sliced on a mandoline/sharp knife.
  • Place your cucumbers in a medium bowl with salt and let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow all the cucumber’s moisture to release. Next, wash your cucumbers under cold water and dry well. Place back in the medium/large sized bowl.
  • Make your sauce. While your cucumbers are set aside, make your sauce. In a small bowl, mix sesame oil, chili oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds, garlic, green onions/scallions and a birds eye chili or fresno chili. (You can also omit that all together). Whisk and stir well, set aside.
  • Pour over the sauce on the cucumbers. Add your vegetables (the cucumbers) back in your bigger bowl. Pour over your sauce. Mix well to get throughout the cucumbers. You can either eat right away, or place in the fridge to marinate for 15-20 minutes, and you can also wait overnight and eat it the next day. Serve and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @lindseyeats or tag #lindseyeats!

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