Fresh, zesty, and nutty, this Asian Cucumber Salad recipe is addictive! Ready in 15 minutes or less, it’s great on its own or as a side dish to your favorite homemade takeout recipes. This refreshing salad will be on repeat all summer!
It’s no secret that I love to make and eat cucumber salads. Whether it’s creamy, with feta, avocado, tomato, or both tomato and feta, cucumber is an ingredient that always hits the spot for me. And no wonder, with it being a powerhouse of nutrients plus its 96% water, cucumber can make you feel amazing and refreshed!
This Asian Cucumber Salad is my new obsession. It pairs perfectly with any Asian-inspired meal or as a snack, and it also travels well to share at potlucks with friends. I like to make the salad dressing the day before to allow the flavors to fully develop, and then all I have to do when I want to eat this Asian Cucumber Salad is slice the cucumbers, and toss them with the dressing and garnish, and just like that it’s ready. SO easy, and SO flavorful!
Why you will love this recipe
- Quick: This Asian Cucumber salad is ready in just 15 minutes!
- Easy: All you have to do is slice the cucumber, mix the Asian salad dressing, pour it over the cucumber, and toss to combine. Garnish it with crushed peanuts and sesame seeds, and you have an extremely flavorful side dish with little effort!
- Healthy: Made with simple pantry staples ingredients, this recipe is mostly cucumber which is so good for you!
- Versatile: This easy, healthy recipe is perfect to whip up anytime! Try it as a snack, as part of your lunch, as a dinner side dish, or take it to a cookout or potluck to share!
- Fits many diets: This cucumber salad recipe is naturally low carb and keto-friendly and can easily be made gluten-free by using gluten-free soy sauce. For a vegan alternative, try adding maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey.
What you will need to make Asian Cucumber Salad
For the dressing
- Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is slightly sweet and tangy. It’s found in the international aisle in your local supermarket. If you can’t find rice vinegar substitute it with white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce brings saltiness and plenty of umami. You can also use low sodium soy sauce, or gluten-free if you have wheat sensitivities.
- Honey: Just a little sweetness and flavor, honey is delicious in this Asian Cucumber Salad. For a vegan version, add maple syrup or agave nectar.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil has an amazingly rich and nutty flavor. I love adding it to all of my Asian-inspired recipes!
- Garlic: Minced fresh garlic packs in a ton of flavor as well as many health benefits. It’s SO good for you!
- Ginger: Similar to garlic, fresh ginger also adds a ton of flavor plus a kick of spice. Ginger and garlic are essential Asian ingredients.
- Red pepper flakes: Speaking of spice, I love a little heat in my recipes so I tossed some red pepper flakes. Feel free to add in more if you like spicy food!
- Salt: To balance all of the other flavors, add salt to your taste.
For the salad
- Cucumbers: Cool, refreshing, and remarkably morish on a hot day, English cucumber is the star of this Asian Salad recipe.
- Peanuts: For a little extra crunchy texture and an extra flavor note, roasted peanuts are crushed and tossed with the salad. If you have a peanut allergy, try crushed roasted almonds or cashews instead.
- Sesame seeds: Finally, toasted sesame seeds add a little more texture as well as nuttiness.
How to make Asian Cucumber Salad
1. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing; rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix it with a fork until well incorporated and set aside.
2. Slice the cucumber into ¼ inch thickness and add it to a large mixing bowl along with the peanuts and mix.
3. Pour the dressing over and toss them until well coated.
4. Garnish the Asian cucumber salad with toasted sesame seeds and serve.
What does Asian Cucumber Salad go with?
You can have this easy salad recipe on its own or pair it with one of these dishes to make a full, healthy meal:
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Sweet and Spicy Asian Chili Chicken Breasts
- Asian Shrimp Zucchini Noodles Recipe
- Baked Honey Chicken Drumsticks
- Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry
- Miso Glazed Salmon
Tips for Success
- Don’t peel the skin. Most of the cucumber’s nutrients are found in the beautiful dark green skin so leave it on and eat it up!
- Non-organic cucumbers are coated in wax, albeit edible wax. On the other hand, organic cucumbers don’t have wax on their skin. I highly recommend eating organic fresh produce when possible. Make sure to thoroughly wash the cucumbers before slicing them!
- This Asian Cucumber Salad will store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. As there is salt added, the cucumbers will begin to wilt and so it’s best eaten fresh or within a few hours of making.
Adding salt to a cucumber draws out all of the moisture. If you’d like your Asian cucumber salad to have less moisture, toss the sliced cucumber with the salt and let it drain in a colander over the sink for 30 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients.
If you use the amount of salt listed in the recipe, there is no need to rinse them, however, if you added extra salt, rinse the cucumber slices in cold water before finishing off making the recipe.
It’s pretty easy! All you have to do is wrap the cucumbers individually in either a paper towel or tea towel, and then place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Cucumbers will keep well for a week or possibly longer with this method.
More Salad recipes you will love
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Fish Taco Salad Bowl
- Spinach Apple Pecan Salad
- Cauliflower “Potato” Salad
- Easy Shrimp Salad with Peanut Dressing
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Asian Cucumber Salad
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce regular, low sodium, or gluten-free
- 1 teaspoon honey *see notes for vegan option
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the salad:
- 3 medium English cucumbers about 3 to 4 cups
- ½ cup roasted peanuts roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing; rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix it with a fork until well incorporated and set aside.
- Slice the cucumber into ¼ inch thickness and add it to a large mixing bowl along with the peanuts and mix.
- Pour the dressing over and toss them until well coated.
- Garnish the cucumber salad with toasted sesame seeds and serve.
- Honey: For a vegan option, substitute the honey for maple syrup or agave nectar.
- Sesame oil is needed for the best flavor. If not, you can use peanut oil or sunflower oil.
- If using English cucumbers, you do not have to peel the cucumber. The skin is thin enough and won’t be an issue.