This easy Asian Cucumber Salad is perfect light and refreshing side for spring and summer! It's incredibly easy to prepare and the perfect delicious alternative to lackluster simple side salads!Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Keyword: avocado, cucumber, Easy, Healthy, quick, red onion
2English Cucumbers– thinly slice into coins or cut crosswise and thinly sliced lengthwise into ribbons
½Red Onion– thinly sliced (about ½ Cup)
1tspSea Salt- plus more to taste
1/8 - ¼tspCrushed Red Pepper Flakes- to taste
1/4 tspGranulated Sugar
2Scallions- thinly sliced
2 TBSCilantro- roughly chopped
1/3- 1/2CupUnsalted Peanuts– coarsely chopped
1 Avocado- sliced of diced
Salt cucumbers: Place sliced cucumbers into a fine-mesh strainer suspended inside a medium sized bowl. Season with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Toss thoroughly to combine. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes up to overnight to drain the cucumbers of excess moisture.
Meanwhile, make the vinegar sauce: In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar through the sugar. Whisk well and set aside.
Dry cucumbers: When cucumbers have been drained of excess moisture, remove from fridge and transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry.
Toss cucumber salad: Transfer the cucumbers to a medium sized bowl. Add the red onions, scallions and cilantro. Add half of the sauce and toss well to coat.
Optional For Best Results - Chill: Place the salad in the refrigerator and allow the flavors to develop, for 30 minutes up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve: When ready to serve, taste and add more of the sauce as desired. Garnish with sesame seeds, peanuts and avocado if using. Enjoy!
Purchasing cucumbers: Make sure you use seedless (or semi-seedless) cucumbers in this recipe. I used English cucumbers because that is what was freshest and readily available at my market. However, if you can get your hands on seedless, Japanese cucumbers, that would be my first choice! As well, Persian cucumbers will work here too. If you use English cucumbers like I did here, there is no need to scoop out or remove the seeds.
Slicing cucumbers: Slice the cucumbers as thin as possible! If you have a mandoline, I recommend using it. If not, no worries - just slice them by hand and take a little extra care to slice them as thin as you can get them.
Salt: Make sure you salt the sliced cucumbers to draw out as much excess liquid as possible!! The sweet, tangy dressing is a major component of this easy Asian cucumber salad. If you don't take the extra (hands off) time to salt the cucumbers and allow them to drain, you will be watering down the dressing, which is a crying shame!! It's ridiculously easy to apply a little salt to the cucumbers, toss them and place them in a fine-mesh sieve to drain, so do NOT skip this step!
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings and does not include any optional add-ins. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.