This two-step cucumber salad has deliciously simple Asian flavors from sesame, ginger, and rice wine vinegar. Whip it up in 15 minutes for an easy side dish or appetizer!
Crunchy, flavorful, simple, YUM: that’s how I describe this Asian cucumber salad. Made from a few ingredients that need little prep, this salad is your answer to a veggie side dish in a pinch. Talk about refreshing in the summer, you’ll find yourself munching on this cucumber salad as a snack too!
Let the salad marinate in the fridge if you’d like to make it ahead, giving those flavors time to meld together.
Sushi fans…you’ll want this salad on the side of these Easy Shrimp Tempura Rolls!
Asian Cucumber Salad Ingredients
- English cucumber – English cucumbers are extra crunchy and provide a great base for the salad.
- Red onion – red onion adds tanginess and more crunch.
- Water – water stretches the vinegar base, yielding the perfect juice/marinade for the cucumbers.
- Seasoned rice wine vinegar – seasoned rice vinegar includes a little sugar and salt which adds so much flavor to the cucumber salad.
- Sesame oil – sesame oil adds toasty sesame flavor.
- Fresh ginger – ginger adds a distinctive Asian flare to the salad.
- Black sesame seeds – black sesame seeds add fun pops of color and earthy flavor.
- Red pepper flakes – red pepper flakes are optional, depending on if you like things a little spicy, very spicy or not spicy at all.
How to Make Asian Cucumber Salad
This Asian cucumber salad takes 15 minutes to make, in only 2 steps!
Add all ingredients to a medium bowl.
Stir and let marinate for 15 minutes if time allows. Serve with a slotted spoon or with the juices.
What to Serve With Asian Cucumber Salad
You can serve this salad as a side dish with so many different main dishes. You can also serve it alone, as an appetizer! As a side, serve with:
- Asian Salmon Rice Bowl
- Juicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin and Dad’s Famous Thai Peanut Sauce
- BEST Easy Shrimp Tempura Roll
- Seared Tuna Avocado Boats
- Filipino Chicken Adobo (So Easy!)
Asian Cucumber Salad Variations
Looking to add more pizazz to your cucumber salad? Here are some ideas:
- Add a dash of soy sauce or fish sauce for salty umami.
- Add some lime juice for extra tanginess and citrus.
- Add in herbs like mint or cilantro.
- Add a spoonful of chili crunch, which is a spicy, crunchy chili oil.
- Top with nut like peanuts or cashews.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Store the salad in a covered container for up to 3-4 days. You can absolutely make this salad ahead. The cucumbers soften a bit over time and soak in more and more flavor from the juices.
I do not recommend freezing this salad.
Yes, you can! Use roughly 4 pickling cucumbers in place of an English cucumber. Use an extra-large American cucumber (or 2 medium ones).
I don’t recommend peeling the cucumber, since the skin adds extra crunch!
Yes, you can double or triple the recipe!
More Salad Recipes You’ll Love
- Greek Salad (With Lettuce)
- Salmon Salad (With Lemon & Dill)
- How to Make AMAZING Egg Salad
- BEST Chicken Caesar Salad
- Easy Curried Chicken Salad (With Grapes & Cashews)
- 1 English cucumber very thinly sliced
- ½ medium red onion very thinly sliced
- 1 cup cold water
- ½ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon black sesame seeds
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- Salt to taste
- Add all ingredients to a medium bowl.
- Stir and let marinate for 15 minutes if time allows. Serve with a slotted spoon or with the juices.
- I use a mandoline to very thinly slice cucumber and red onion. You can also use a very sharp knife.
- Cut the halved red onion in half again so the slices are smaller pieces.
- You can use regular sesame seeds if you can’t find black sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds are earthier and add contrasting color.
- Seasoned rice wine vinegar is “seasoned” with some sugar and salt which adds complementary flavor to the salad.
- Garnish with cilantro and/or chopped peanuts if you’d like!
- You can let the salad marinate in the fridge for longer if preferred!