Asian Cucumber Salad
This Asian Cucumber Salad has Vidalia Onions and cilantro, and this is a cucumber salad I’ve been making for years when the weather gets hot. But even when cucumbers aren’t in season, this is a salad I’d enjoy as a side dish most any time of year.
This favorite Asian Cucumber Salad that has Vidalia Onions (or any sweet onion) and cilantro was inspired by those thinly sliced cucumbers marinated in rice vinegar that are sometimes served with sushi. And I love type type of light and refreshing salad that’s perfect for days when it’s really scorching outside. But truthfully I like this type of cucumber salad so much I’d make it almost any time of year with those mini-cucumbers or European cucumbers when fresh summer cucumbers aren’t available.
And even though I love the salad with the addition of sweet onions and cilantro, I think this rice vinegar dressing is also delicious on plain cucumbers, so if you don’t like all the ingredients (or want fewer carbs without the sweet onion), just go for it with the cucumbers.
And this is one of those cucumber salads that perfect to keep in the fridge, where it will stay good for a day or two so you can keep having a nibble. For me cilantro is an essential component in the salad, but if you’re a cilantro avoider I think mint would be a good substitute. Or just omit the cilantro and enjoy without it!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- Vidalia onion or other sweet onion
- Unseasoned Rice Vinegar (affiliate link) (see notes)
- Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or other sweetener of your choice
- Asian sesame oil (affiliate link)
- garlic puree or Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- hot pepper flakes (optional)
- coarse ground black pepper to taste
What kind of cucumbers should you use?
This salad would be amazing with garden cucumbers or the the small Persian Cucumbers that are available now, and if you have those you can skip the step of scraping out the seeds. But if you have larger cucumbers with seeds just scrape out the seeds and slice cucumbers as shown in the photos. Of course, fresh garden cucumbers are always great, but I’ve made this salad many times in the winter with mini-cucumbers or European cucumbers.
What makes the Asian Cucumber Salad low in carbs?
I made this salad with Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) but use any low-carb sweetener you prefer for this salad. Be sure to use the unseasoned rice vinegar, which doesn’t contain sugar. The recipe is pretty low in carbs as written, but if you want to make this salad for Keto you might want to omit the sweet onion, which will make it quite a bit lower in carbs.
What if you don’t like Cilantro?
If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy the taste of cilantro, this salad would also be delicious with more thinly sliced green onions, or just omit the cilantro if you prefer!
Preparing cucumbers and onions for Asian Cucumber Salad:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional information.)
- If a cucumber has small seeds, you can leave the seeds in.
- For larger seeds I’d scoop them out with a spoon before you slice the cucumbers.
- Here’s the cucumber with the seeds scooped out. If you have fresh garden cucumbers I’d leave some strips of green peel showing, but cucumbers from the store should be peeled completely.
- I used four medium-sized cucumbers, which gave me a nice pile of sliced cucumbers.
- Chop up one Vidalia onion or other sweet onion, making pieces that are not too large.
Assembling, marinating, and finishing the Asian Cucumber Salad:
- Mix together unseasoned rice vinegar, Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or sweetener of your choice, Asian sesame oil, and garlic puree to make the dressing. I like a tiny pinch of hot pepper flakes in this too but it’s optional.
- Put sliced cucumbers and onions in a large Ziploc bag, pour in the dressing, and let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or longer.
- When you’re ready to eat, drain the cucumbers and onions into a colander and chop up a generous amount of fresh cilantro (or use sliced green onion if you’re a cilantro hater, or skip it completely. Some people might enjoy mint, but it’s a strong flavor in this salad.)
- Mix the cilantro into the onions and cucumbers, season with fresh ground black pepper, and serve.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal!
For a low-carb dinner I think this salad would taste great with Very Greek Grilled Chicken, Grilled Cuban Flank Steak, Thai-Inspired Ground Turkey Stir Fry, Maple Glazed Salmon, or Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken.
More Cucumber Salads You Might Enjoy:
Check out Low-Carb Cucumber Salads to Keep You Cool for more tasty cucumber salad ideas!
- 4 cucumbers, peeled in stripes, cut in half lengthwise, then into thick slices
- 1 large Vidalia onion or other sweet onion, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slivers of onion
- 1 bunch cilantro washed and chopped just before using
- 1 cup rice vinegar (see notes)
- 3 T Monkfruit Sweetener
- 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
- 2 tsp. garlic puree (also called ground garlic)
- pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)
- coarse ground black pepper to taste
- Peel cucumbers in stripes if using garden cucumbers or peel completely if using store-bought cucumbers.
- Cut cucumber in half lengthwise, and scrape out seeds if they’re large, then cut up cucumbers into half slices.
- Peel onion, cut in half both ways, then cut onion into small slivers of onion.
- Place cucumbers and onions in Ziploc bag or plastic bowl with snap-on lid.
- Combine rice vinegar, sweetener, sesame oil, garlic, and hot pepper flakes (if using) and pour over cucumbers.
- Let marinate in refrigerator 2-3 hours. (You can leave it longer, but I prefer this when the cucumbers are still slightly crisp.)
- Just before serving, wash, dry, and chop cilantro. (Don’t be afraid to use some of the stem; it is considered a delicacy in parts of Asia.)
- Drain cucumbers and onions and combine with chopped cilantro, season with fresh ground pepper and serve.
- This will keep in the refrigerator a day or two, but the vegetables won’t be crisp.
- Of course this is best made with fresh-from-the-garden cucumbers, but if you only have from-the-store cucumbers, it’s still very good!
Don’t use seasoned vinegar which contains sugar.
This recipe created by Kalyn and was inspired by thinly-sliced marinated cucumbers served with sushi.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 64Total Fat: 1.7gSaturated Fat: .3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1.3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 15mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1.6gSugar: 5.7gProtein: 1.5g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
As long as you use Monkfruit Sweetener or another sweetener or your choice and avoid seasoned rice vinegar, Asian Cucumber Salad is a perfect salad for low-carb and low-glycemic diets, including any phase of the original South Beach Diet. For Keto diets, I would omit the sweet onion.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Cucumber Recipes or Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe
This recipe was first posted in 2006 (!) and I’ve been making it ever since then. It was last updated with more information in 2022.