Asian Cucumber Salad

If you're looking for a refreshing cool summer side, this Asian cucumber salad will fit the bill, with cucumber, carrots, peanuts and mint.

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Asian cucumber salad in a white bowl with red, orange and white napkins and serving utensils.

Simple Cucumber Salad

The saying “cool as a cucumber” is said for a reason. Cucumbers are naturally cool – not only cool in the totally chill way, but cool as in cold. Cucumbers tend to be about 20% cooler in their center than the air temperature they are in. As a result, this Asian cucumber salad is cool and refreshing, but also has a little kick to it with a spicy Asian dressing. It’s a perfect salad to go with your summer meals. 

Ingredients on a cutting board - carrots, cucumber, mint, pickled ginger, peanuts, crushed chili flakes

Ingredients in Cucumber Salad

In addition to those cool cucumbers, this salad has julienned carrots for additional crunch and color, some salty peanuts and refreshing mint (or cilantro if you prefer) in addition to the Asian dressing with spicy chili pepper flakes and sweet pickled ginger. You can use a good chef’s knife to slice and julienne, or pick up a mandolin if you prefer. 

A nakiri knife with sliced cucumber, julienne carrots and peanuts on a cutting board.

How to Slice Cucumber for Cucumber Salad

I like to use my grooved Nakiri knife for this job since the grooves along the blade help prevent the slices of cucumber from sticking. With a simple up and down motion (no rocking needed with the Nakiri), the slicing job is done in minutes. Try to keep the cucumbers about ¼-inch to 3/8-inch thick and as uniform as possible. English cucumbers are best for this salad because they don’t have bitter seeds or peel. 

Cucumber slices salting in a colander in a stainless steel bowl.

Salting Cucumbers

Salting the cucumbers helps to keep them crispy for longer once they are tossed in the salad. Simply toss the cucumber slices with a lot of kosher salt and let them sit in a colander over a bowl. This will draw out the moisture from the cucumber. After 30 minutes or so, rinse the remaining salt off the cucumbers and dry them well with clean kitchen towel. 

looking down into a bowl with dressing next to a cutting board with julienned carrots, chopped mint, sliced cucumber wrapped in paper towel and a bowl of roasted peanuts.

Asian Dressing for Cucumber Salad

The dressing for this Asian Cucumber Salad is easy. Combine seasoned rice wine vinegar with a little soy sauce, sugar, chopped pickled ginger (which you should be able to find in the ethnic food section of your grocery store), some minced garlic and chili pepper flakes. Then, whisk in vegetable oil and you’re ready to go. I like to toss the cucumber, carrot and mint with the dressing first and then add the roasted salted peanuts at the end. 

Looking down into a stainless steel bowl with Asian Cucumber Salad ingredients and a pair of tongs next to a chef's knife, measuring cup and whisk.

What to Serve with Asian Cucumber Salad

This Asian Cucumber Salad will go with anything you’re grilling. The vibrant flavors of the salad contrast the smoky flavor of any grilled meats beautifully. You might serve it next to some Easy Grilled Chicken Thighs or Tandoori Spiced Mixed Grill or Grilled BBQ Pork Tenderloin. It also makes a great option in a selection of summer salads like Classic Potato Salad, Chicken Macaroni Salad, and a Dill Cauliflower Salad. So many options…

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Asian Cucumber Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Salting Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 40 m
  • Servings:


  • 2 English cucumbers sliced ⅜-inch thick
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • cup roasted salted peanuts chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • teaspoons soy sauce
  • teaspoons sugar
  • ½ clove garlic minced (about ½ teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon pickled ginger julienned
  • Pinch or two crushed red pepper flakes
  • tablespoons 4½ teaspoons vegetable oil (4½ teaspoons)


  1. Start by salting the cucumber. Toss the cucumber slices in salt and let them sit in a colander over a bowl for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse the slices with fresh water and let them drain again before drying well on clean kitchen towel. Pre-salting will help keep them crispy in the salad.
  2. Make the dressing by whisking the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and pickled ginger together in a large bowl to dissolve the sugar. Whisk in the vegetable oil.
  3. Add the cucumbers and carrots to the bowl and toss to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Stir in the peanuts and cilantro. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve cool as a terrific side dish or salad starter.
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