This scrumptious Thai Cucumber Salad recipe is made with sliced cucumbers, fresh jalapeño, cilantro, and sesame seeds, all marinated in a sweet & spicy Asian vinaigrette. Cucumber salad is always a refreshing dish at picnics, poolside, and grill parties. It's great for meal prep too!
Thai Cucumber Salad
Does your mouth water every time you think about cucumber salad? Mine sure does! Know what makes it even better? The sweet, savory, and spicy flavors you get from this Asian cucumber salad.
It's off-the-hook delicious!
The cucumbers are sliced super thin with a mandoline slicer. Without this tool, I might be able to get them that thin, but it would take a while...and a really sharp knife.
If you don't have a mandolin slicer though, don't worry, you can cut the cucumbers any way you like...it's all going to taste fantastic!
How to make Thai Cucumber Salad
Step 1. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and refrigerate in an airtight container.
Step 2. Slice the cucumbers, dice the peppers, and sprinkle on a few sesame seeds.
Step 3. Pour vinaigrette over the cucumbers; cover and refrigerate in an airtight container a few hours before serving. Refrigerate up to 5 days.
Thai Cucumber Salad Ingredients
For the cucumber salad
Cucumber - Use an everyday cucumber (such as English or burpless cucumber) for this recipe as they are typically unwaxed, thin-skinned, and won't require peeling.
Jalapeno or Serrano pepper - This depends on your interest in the ‘spice' factor AND the fact that Jalapeños and Serranos are never consistent in their level of heat. Always taste either before adding, to make sure you’re getting enough heat…but not too much.
Cilantro - Always use fresh cilantro. This recipe does not call for dried cilantro and as it simply won't allow you to achieve that authentic amazing Asian flavor and aroma with anything but fresh cilantro.
For the Asian vinaigrette
Avocado Oil - I usually use olive oil for vinaigrettes, but for Thai cucumber salad, I want something more neutral like avocado oil. You could even add a few drops of sesame oil to this dressing. It will only add to the Asian vibes!
Unseasoned Rice Vinegar - Be sure to buy unseasoned rice vinegar for your Asian pantry. The seasoned rice vinegar has sugar and salt added to it. I always say, be a control freak, go for the plain stuff, and add your own...if it even needs it. Most grocery stores will have both, side-by-side.
Maple syrup - You can use just about any liquid sweetener for Thai cucumber salad, but I prefer the smokiness of maple syrup for this recipe. It complements the savoriness of the sesame.
Black Sesame Seeds - I think these are a must for an Asian cucumber salad. You can use the classic, beige sesame seeds too. They might be easier to find. The black seeds add a nice contrast, but the flavor is similar.
Red Chili Pepper Flakes - Every household in America probably has these in their pantry. They're versatile, inexpensive, and they make everything, well, spicier...and more flavorful.
Sea Salt - I like to use sea salt for this recipe, as opposed to Kosher salt. It dissolves more quickly, which is always a bonus when you're in a hurry!
Pepper - Add black pepper to your liking, or not.
More easy Asian recipes
- Thai Coconut Soup
- Kale Sesame Noodles
- Asian Slaw Quinoa Salad
- Quick Pickled Carrots and Daikon
- Thai Peanut Zucchini Noodles
- Vegetable Lo Mein Noodles
Thai Cucumber Salad
For the cucumber salad:
- 1 large Cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 Serrano Pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 tsp Sesame Seeds, I used black sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
For the Asian vinaigrette:
- 2 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 Tbsp Unseasoned Rice Vinegar
- 2 tsp Maple Syrup
- ⅛ tsp Red Chili Pepper Flakes
- ⅛ tsp Sea Salt
- Black Pepper, to taste
For the cucumber salad:
- In a mixing bowl, combine sliced CUCUMBER, SERRANO PEPPER, SESAME SEEDS, and CILANTRO. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
For the dressing:
- In a lidded jar or mixing bowl, combine OIL, RICE VINEGAR, MAPLE SYRUP, RED CHILI PEPPER FLAKES, SALT, and PEPPER; shake or whisk vigorously until well-combined; refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. Shake well before using.
- To serve, gently toss the cucumber salad with the Asian vinaigrette; serve chilled.
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.