Easy Asian Cucumber Salad with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and garlic is a cool and crisp side dish that is easy to toss together at a moment’s notice. Level up any meal with this refreshing dish!
Do you ever crave something tangy, crunchy, and just all around refreshing?
That, m’dear, is cucumber salad!
Have you tried it?? Cucumber salad is a very common side dish at Japanese restaurants, and one of my favorite Mexican restaurants serves it up with their tostadas as well. For this recipe, we’re going with the Asian approach.
Asian Cucumber Salad requires very few ingredients and leaves you feeling nice and chill on these hot days.
Fresh summer salads like this and my Cauliflower Potato Salad, Roasted Summer Vegetable Quinoa Salad, Curried Chicken Salad and Avocado Greek Tuna Salad are amazing for keeping your warm weather eats cool, fresh, flavorful, and nourishing.
Whip it up for any weeknight, picnic, barbecue, you name it! Folks love it because it just tastes so fresh, and it’s just so easy to toss together in 5 minutes flat!
The only caveat is the longer the salad sits, the more amazing it tastes. Having the forethought to prepare the salad at least one hour (ideally twelve hours or longer) ahead of time will win you the best result!
Let’s chat about the ingredients!
What Type of Cucumbers to Use for Asian Cucumber Salad:
Truly, any type of cucumber will be lovely in this salad recipe. It is customary in Asian-style cucumber salads to use Japanese or Persian cucumbers, which are smaller than regular and English cucumbers.
If you can find them, use them! Japanese and Persian cucumbers aren’t common in grocery stores in my area, so I use one large English cucumber.
More often than not, the cucumber salads I get at Sushi or Japanese restaurants comes with chunks of chopped seeded cucumbers, rather than sliced. You can remove the seeds of the cucumbers before chopping if you’d like to go this route.
Dressing for Cucumber Salad:
The ingredients you need to dress the salad are so simple you likely already have them! Rice vinegar, sesame oil, liquid aminos (or soy sauce or coconut aminos), garlic, and a touch of pure maple syrup is all you need!
You can swap the rice vinegar for white vinegar or cider vinegar (but truly, rice vinegar is my favorite) if need be. Switch the sesame oil for avocado oil if you don’t like the flavor of sesame oil, but the sesame oil provides a great deal of flavor so don’t skip it unless you don’t like it!
How to Make Cucumber Salad:
Stir together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, liquid aminos (or soy sauce or coconut aminos), garlic and pure maple syrup in a mixing bowl.
Run a vegetable peeler down the side of the cucumber in 3 or 4 strips and slice the cucumber thinly.
Add the sliced cucumber to the mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
Allow the salad to marinate at least 1 hour before serving – ideally 12 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it will become!
Pro Tip: stir the cucumber salad periodically if you can. This ensures all of the slices will be well-saturated in the dressing.
Bring it with you to all your summer gatherings!
Easy Asian Cucumber Salad
- Stir together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, liquid aminos (or soy sauce or coconut aminos), garlic and pure maple syrup in a mixing bowl.
- Run a vegetable peeler down the side of the cucumber in 3 or 4 strips and slice the cucumber thinly.
- Add the sliced cucumber to the mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
- Allow the salad to marinate at least 1 hour before serving - ideally 12 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it will become!