Make this quick Asian Cucumber Salad for an easy side dish in under 15 minutes tonight! Crunchy cashews combine with sliced mini seedless cucumbers, red onion, and a spicy, tangy dressing made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili garlic paste. This cucumber salad is another simple recipe perfect for weeknight dinners!

A fork digs into a bowl of Asian Cucumber Salad.

Quick Asian Cucumber Salad Recipe

Often when I have a bunch of extra cucumbers I resort to making these Refrigerator Dill Pickles (so good, and so easy!!)

But sometimes you need a way to enjoy the refreshing crunch of the cukes sooner rather than later.

And this quick Asian Cucumber Salad is it!

All you need is 15 minutes and a few simple ingredients for the BEST tangy vinaigrette: some rice vinegar and soy sauce for acidity, chili garlic paste for spice, and a bit of honey and sesame oil to round it out.

And nope — this salad isn’t watery at all! (Thanks to a few simple tricks I’ll be sure to show you below.)

The ingredients for Asian Cucumber Salad include cucumbers, onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, chili garlic paste, and cashews.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers. Seedless, mini cucumbers were used in recipe. You can also use a larger, seedless type, like English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers; just cut them into quarters. If you’re using regular cucumbers with seeds, make sure to remove them before making the salad. Fresh garden cucumbers are perfect in the hot summer months.
  • Rice wine vinegar. This adds acidity and flavor. You can sub with white wine vinegar, but it won’t have the same Asian flair.
  • Sesame oil. A little goes a long way, but this ingredient is absolutely necessary for that delicious umami flavor. Opt for a toasted variety.
  • Honey. Just a touch is needed to balance out the tartness of the vinegar. You can also use sugar, or leave it out if you’re on a low-carb diet.
  • Chili garlic paste. This gives the dish a little kick of spice. You should find it in the Asian aisle of the grocery store. You can sub 1 teaspoon Sriracha and 1 finely minced garlic clove.
  • Ginger. Paste is easiest to use. However, you can also use fresh ginger and finely mince or grate it.
  • Onion. Red is preferred for flavor and appearance. But, you can also use white or sweet. Be sure to finely dice the onion so the flavor spreads evenly throughout.
  • Cashews. Roasted and salted will yield the best taste and texture. Save these until just before serving to keep that crunchy bite.
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
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How to Make Asian Cucumber Salad

Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.

1. Slice the Cucumbers

Rinse the vegetables before cutting to remove and dirt and debris.

Use a mandolin or knife to thinly slice the cucumbers to about ¼- to ½-inch pieces.

2. Sprinkle with Salt

After you have cut the cucumbers, place all of them in a large bowl. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt.

Let the cucumbers sit for at least 15 minutes. As they rest, water will seep out of the peel and flesh. Use a paper towel to dry every couple of minutes.

This step is crucial! If you don’t remove the excess liquid, then you will end up with a watery salad and not crunchy cucumbers.

3. Whisk the Asian Dressing

While you are letting the cucumbers rest, whisk the spicy dressing ingredients together.

In a medium bowl, combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, chili garlic paste, and ginger paste. Whisk thoroughly until everything is well combined. For the best results, be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to get the heavier ingredients, like the paste and honey, to completely integrate.

4. Toss Everything Together

After the cucumbers are thoroughly dry and no more moisture is seeping out, pour the dressing over the fresh ingredients.

Gently toss until all of the pieces are evenly coated.

Chill the mixture for up to two hours. (Optional!)

When you are ready to serve the delicious salad, add diced red onion and chopped cashews. Save this step for last as this will ensure you get a nice crunch in every bite.

Quick and healthy Asian Cucumber Salad in a glass bowl with a spoon.

FAQs

What does a cucumber salad contain?

Typically, a cucumber salad contains thinly sliced cucumbers and onions with a vinaigrette-type dressing. There are many ways to vary it through dressings and toppings.

How do you keep cucumber salad from getting watery?

To keep cucumber salad from getting watery, start with a seedless variety, sprinkle salt over the slices, and allow them to rest for 15 minutes. Dry any excess moisture on the vegetables.

How do you make spicy cucumber salad?

To make the cucumber salad spicy, add in additional flavors like red pepper flakes, chili paste, or your favorite spices.

Recipe Tips

  • Slice ’em even. Be sure to evenly cut the cucumber slices into ¼- to ½-inch pieces.
  • Let ’em rest. After slicing the cucumbers, sprinkle with salt and allow excess moisture to be released.
  • Whisk it well. Thoroughly mix the dressing to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
  • Save the crunch. Add the cashews and onions just before serving to ensure crunchy goodness in every bite.
  • Change it up. Don’t be scared to add in things like green onion, carrots, cilantro, sesame seeds, or peanuts to create new flavors.
On overhead shot of healthy cucumber salad.

What to Serve with Asian Cucumber Salad?

Serve this Asian Cucumber Salad Recipe with any of these delicious main dishes for a complete meal.

You can’t go wrong with Shrimp Fried Rice, Pad Thai, or Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai.

Teriyaki Salmon will steal the show.

Opt for take-out favorites, like General Tso’s Chicken, Instant Pot Orange Chicken, Teriyaki Shrimp Stir-Fry or Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

More Simple Cucumber Recipes

If this salad put you in the mood for more cucumber, try one of these recipes next:

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Quick Asian Cucumber Salad Recipe

Make this quick Asian Cucumber Salad for an easy side dish in under 15 minutes tonight! Crunchy cashews combine with sliced mini seedless cucumbers, red onion, and a tangy dressing made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili garlic paste.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Total 15 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. mini seedless cucumbers or an English cucumber, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce gluten-free, or Tamari
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil toasted
  • 2 tsp. honey or sugar
  • 1 tsp. chili garlic paste or 1 tsp. sriracha + 1 minced garlic clove
  • ¼ tsp. ginger paste
  • ¼ cup red onion finely diced
  • ¼ cup roasted cashews salted, finely chopped

Instructions 

  • Prepare Cucumbers: Add sliced cucumbers to a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess liquid every few minutes.
    1 lb. mini seedless cucumbers, ¾ tsp. salt
  • Make the Vinaigrette: While cucumbers are resting, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, chili garlic paste, and ginger paste in a medium-sized bowl.
    ¼ cup rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. sesame oil, 2 tsp. honey, 1 tsp. chili garlic paste, ¼ tsp. ginger paste
  • Toss with Cucumbers: Once the cucumbers have been thoroughly dried, pour the dressing over them and toss until they’re well coated.
  • Serve the Salad: Add diced red onion and chopped cashews. Toss to combine everything and either serve immediately or serve for up to two hours to serve chilled. Enjoy!
    ¼ cup red onion, ¼ cup roasted cashews

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 4 votes

Video

Notes

Prep-Ahead Instructions:

Slice cucumbers and dice onion a couple of hours beforehand to save time. You can pour the dressing over the cucumbers and chill in the fridge for up to two hours before serving.

Storage Directions:

If there are leftovers, keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. It is not recommended you freeze this salad as the cucumbers will lose their texture upon thawing and will become extremely watery.
Recipe Tips:
  • Slice ’em even. Be sure to evenly cut the cucumber slices into ¼-inch pieces.
  • Let ’em rest. After slicing the cucumbers, sprinkle with salt and allow excess moisture to be released.
  • Whisk it well. Thoroughly mix the dressing to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
  • Save the crunch. Add the cashews and onions just before serving to ensure crunchy goodness in every bite.
  • Change it up. Don’t be scared to add in things like green onion, carrots, cilantro, sesame seeds, or peanuts to create new flavors.

Nutrition

Calories: 71kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 380mg, Potassium: 162mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 81IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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