Chinese Cucumber Salad
Chinese Cucumber Salad is an interesting salad to make with garden cucumbers, and the step of marinating the cucumbers adds amazing flavor. I love this with a little Sriracha Sauce but make it as spicy or mild as you prefer.
I love salads like this Chinese Cucumber Salad so much that when I run across people who are indifferent to cucumbers, I always wonder if they’ve ever had fresh-from-the-garden cucumbers. When fresh garden cucumbers first start to appear in the Farmers Market (or in your garden), I like to just wash them, slice in half, and eat with a little salt.
And when summer cucumbers start to be abundant I love to make something like this Chinese Cucumber Salad that uses a lot of cucumbers. The inspiring recipe came from a very old cookbook for gardeners called Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans, and Other Good Things (affiliate link). It’s a book with some unusual and interesting ideas for using up garden veggies, and this cucumber salad was definitely a winner.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- sea salt (for soaking water)
- Black Sesame Seeds (affiliate link) for garnishing salad, optional but fun
- Red Wine Vinegar (affiliate link)
- soy sauce or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link)
- Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or other sweetener of choice
- sesame oil (affiliate link)
- Sriracha Sauce (affiliate link)
What if you don’t have every ingredient for the Chinese Cucumber Salad?
When I first made this, I didn’t have Black Sesame Seeds (affiliate link), but when I updated the photos I couldn’t resist sprinkling those on for a little more dressed-up salad. I also added a tiny bit of Sriracha for a slightly spicier salad. If you don’t have those ingredients, no worries; the salad will still be delicious without them.
Do you have to soak the cucumbers for this Chinese Cucumber Salad?
I’d say the technique of soaking the cucumber in salted water with ice cubes is probably optional, but it does produce perfectly crisp and crunchy cucumbers, so I recommend it if you have the time.
Want more ideas for cucumber salads?
Check out my collection of 30 Low-Carb Cucumber Salads for lots more ideas for using cucumbers!
How to make Chinese Cucumber Salad:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- Peel the cucumbers, or if you have fresh garden cucumbers, leave on some of the peel.
- Cut cucumber in half and scrape out the seeds.
- Then cut the cucumbers into slices.
- Soak the cucumbers in salted ice water for 30 minutes. (Probably optional, but this makes them really crisp.)
- While the cucumbers soak, mix together red wine vinegar, soy sauce or Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link), Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or sweetener of your choice, sesame oil (affiliate link), salt, and Sriracha Sauce (affiliate link) or other hot sauce to make the dressing.
- After 30 minutes drain the cucumbers well.
- Put the drained cucumbers into a plastic container with a snap tight lid, pour most of the dressing over, and marinate 30 minutes in the dressing, turning the container over a few times while it’s in the fridge.
- Then drain the marinated cucumbers.
- Serve salad with the reserved dressing drizzled over and sprinkle with Black Sesame Seeds (affiliate link) if desired.
Make it a Low-Carb Meal:
For a low-carb meal, Chinese Cucumber Salad would go well with Sanpete County Grilled Turkey Kabobs, Grilled Cuban Flank Steak, Grilled Fusion Chicken, Maple Glazed Salmon, or Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks.
More Favorite Cucumber Salads to Try:
- 4 medium sized cucumbers
- 2 T sea salt (for soaking water)
- black sesame seeds for garnishing salad (optional but fun)
- 4 T red wine vinegar
- 4 T soy sauce (see notes)
- 3 T Golden Monkfruit Sweetener
- 4 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. Sriracha Sauce (or more, see notes)
- Peel cucumbers, leaving some of the peel on in stripes if they are fresh garden cucumbers.
- Cut each cucumber in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.
- Cut cucumbers in 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Soak 30 minutes in salted ice water. (I used 2 T sea salt in the water.)
- While the cucumbers are soaking in the ice water, mix the red wine vinegar, soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce, sweetener of your choice, sesame oil, and Sriracha Sauce or other hot sauce to make the dressing.
- After 30 minutes, drain the cucumbers well, put them in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, and pour most of the dressing over cucumbers. (Save several tablespoons dressing to drizzle over finished salad.)
- Let marinate 30 minutes in the fridge, turning the container over a few times.
- After 30 minutes more, drain the cucumbers.
- Put cucumbers on serving dish, drizzle over the reserved dressing, and sprinkle with black sesame seeds if desired.
- This will keep one day in the fridge, but it’s much better freshly made.
Use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce (affiliate link) if needed. I'd make this with Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) but use any sweetener of your choice. I love this with the addition of Sriracha Sauce (affiliate link). I'd use more than 1 tsp., but start with that much and see if you want to add more. Any Asian Hot Pepper Sauce could be used.
This recipe adapted from Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans, and Other Good Things. (affiliate link)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 88Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2944mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
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:
If you use Golden Monkfruit Sweetener (affiliate link) or an approved sweetener, this Chinese Cucumber Salad would be approved for any low-carb or Keto eating plan, as well as all phases of the original South Beach Diet.
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 made it many, many times since then! The recipe was last updated in 2023.