This Asian cucumber salad recipe is a really simple and beautiful side dish. You can alter the level of spice to your own taste but I would say that this recipe is very mild. I sliced the cucumbers whole because it looks cooler, but I see many people cut them in half so that they’re more friendly to eat.
This recipe is actually inspired by the countless amount of Asian cucumber salad TikToks I have seen the last few weeks. The beauty behind it is you can customize the flavors however you would like. More salty, sweet, sour, or spicy you can really experiment and make sure they are perfect.
Key steps/ingredients for the perfect cucumber salad
Mini cucumbers: You can definitely use regular cucumbers as well, but I find the size of the mini cucumbers to be perfect. The regular cucumbers are too thick in my opinion.
Cutting technique: When making the cuts, place chopsticks on both sides and this acts as a barrier so that it is impossible to cut all the way through to the bottom. Cut at a 45 degree angle to make sure you never fully cut through the cucumber. Once you flip the cucumber to the second side, I tend to make more shallow cuts, this helps the cucumber keep a better shape after salted.
Salt: Salting and allowing the cucumbers to rest will draw out the water in the cucumber. Keep in mind that after salting, the cucumbers will become more loose and spread more.
Chili crisp: Chili crisp is one of my favorite ingredient because it embodies all of the amazing things about chili oil, except it’s not actually very spicy. That is why 2 tbsp of it does not making it overly spicy.
Korean chili flakes (gochugaru): Gochugaru is a type of Korean chili flake, if you don’t have this you can replace with any other type of chili flakes you have.
Asian Cucumber Salad
- 6 mini cucumbers
- 1½ tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp chili crisp
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp Korean chili flakes
- 2 cloves grated garlic
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- Cut off the ends on each cucumber.
- Place two wooden chopsticks around the cucumber to use as a guide for cutting.
- Make thin, diagonal cuts along the cucumber until your knife touches the chopsticks.
- Flip cucumber around and make diagonal cuts again, this time don't cut all the way down to the chopstick. I roughly cut about half way through the cucumber.
- Add salt and allow the cucumbers to rest for 30 minutes to draw out moisture.
- Rinse off all the salt thoroughly 1-2 times then dry with a paper towel.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix.
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