Asian Cucumber Salad
on Sep 06, 2021, Updated Jul 08, 2022
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Dressed in a peanut vinaigrette, this easy Asian cucumber salad is a fresh mix of cucumbers, carrots, peanuts, cilantro and scallions.
A salad doesn’t get much better when it is super crisp and fresh. Lettuce isn’t the only way to make this happen.
Sliced cucumbers are wonderful bases for salads with their distinct and satisfying crunch. Cucumber salads are fast and easy to make too.
With carrots, peanuts and cilantro, this is an Asian-inspired cucumber salad recipe. It goes well as a side for stir-fries, tofu dishes and fried rice. All of these mains are ready very quickly, so they time well with this simple salad.
I dress the cucumbers and carrots in peanut vinaigrette, a mix of natural peanut butter, fresh ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce and rice vinegar.
This creamy vegan vinaigrette is just right for a cucumber carrot salad.
Types Of Cucumbers
You don’t have to stick with standard dark green skinned cucumbers. If those are all you can find, then I recommend peeling them for this recipe.
I like using English cucumbers instead. Also known as European or hothouse cucumbers because they are often grown in greenhouses, these cucumbers have thinner skin, so there’s no need to peel them. They are longer and more slender and have less seeds.
Their flavor is mild and goes well with the bold ingredients in this peanut dressing.
Persian cucumbers are another thinner skinned option with minimal seeds. They are shorter than English cucumbers.
How To Cut A Cucumber For A Salad
Since you don’t have to peel English cucumbers, the prep for this salad is very easy.
Just trim the ends of the cucumber, and slice it into thin round coins. That’s it.
Also, because English cucumbers don’t have many seeds, you don’t have to scoop them out.
These are the ingredients you need for this cucumber salad recipe:
- For Salad:
- Cucumbers: Again, I prefer English cucumbers for their slender diameter, thin skin and lack of seeds.
- Carrots: I usually buy pre-shredded carrots because they are better than how they would turn out if I shredded carrots on my own using my box grater.
- Scallions: For pleasant and light onion flavor, I include these thinly green onions. If you only have a red onion, you can use some very thin slices.
- Peanuts: To add some salty, nutty crunch, I stir chopped salted roasted peanuts into the salad. If you want more, you can sprinkle on some sesame seeds too.
- Cilantro: For fresh herbs, this is the perfect choice with peanuts and cucumbers.
- For Peanut Vinaigrette
- Peanut butter: Make sure to use smooth natural peanut butter.
- Ginger: The recipe calls for minced fresh ginger.
- Lime juice: For brightness and acidity, I whisk in the juice of a lime.
- Olive oil: This oil is the base for the vinaigrette.
- Soy sauce: I use soy sauce to give the dressing a little salty umami.
- Rice vinegar: For a more subtle vinegar flavor, I like the mild acidity of rice vinegar.
- Maple syrup: This gives the vinaigrette a touch of sweetness. You could use honey instead, but then the dressing will not be vegan.
- Red pepper flakes: Just a pinch adds a little heat.
- Salt & Pepper: No surprise, the vinaigrette is seasoned with salt and pepper.
How To Make An Asian Cucumber Salad
This cucumber carrot salad comes together in minutes.
All you have to do is combine sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, scallions, chopped peanuts and cilantro in a big bowl. There’s no need to use a mandolin or other special tool to cut the cucumbers thinly. A sharp chef’s knife will easily do the job. After that just make the dressing.
- Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl including the cucumbers, carrots, scallions, peanuts and cilantro.
- Make the peanut vinaigrette. Whisk together the peanut butter, fresh ginger, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing into the salad, tossing around the cucumbers and carrots, so everything is coated in the vinaigrette.
What To Serve With This Salad
This Asian cucumber salad is definitely meant to be a side dish. I serve it with stir-fries and sheet pan meals that have Asian flavors. I love its fresh taste with these cooked dishes. If you are looking for a protein, chicken is a good choice.
You can pair this cucumber salad with any of these dishes:
Ginger Garlic Veggie Tofu Stir-Fry
Tofu Peanut Vegetable Stir Fry
Sheet Pan Sweet Potato Black Bean Tofu
Broccoli Edamame Pea Fried Rice
Sheet Pan Teriyaki Tofu Broccolini
Frozen Vegetable Stir-Fry
Sheet Pan Kung Pao Tofu
Mixed Veggie Tofu Stir-Fry
Shrimp Fried Rice
You can store leftovers in the fridge up to 3 days in an airtight container. The cucumbers may lose some of their crispness. If you are planning not to eat the entire salad, try to not dress the portion of the salad you are saving, so retains more of its bite.
More Salad Recipes With Cucumbers
Asian Cucumber Salad
- For salad
- 1 pound English cucumbers, trimmed and thinly sliced into rounds
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro plus more for serving
- For vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, carrots, scallions, peanuts and cilantro.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together the peanut butter, ginger, garlic, lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette into the cucumber salad, tossing to coat and sprinkling with additional cilantro before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.