Kalyn's Kitchen

Chinese Cucumber Salad

Chinese Cucumber Salad is an interesting salad to make with garden cucumbers, and the step of marinating the cucumbers for a short time adds amazing flavor. 

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Chinese Cucumber Salad large thumbnail of finished salad on plate

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, which I think are one of the most delicious things about summer. When garden cucumbers first start to appear, I just wash them, slice in half, and eat with a little salt.

Later in the summer when they start to be abundant I might make something like this Chinese Cucumber Salad that uses a lot of cucumbers. The recipe came from a cookbook I’ve for years, called Too Many Tomatoes, Squash, Beans, and Other Good Things. It’s a book with some unusual and interesting ideas for using up garden veggies, and this cucumber salad was definitely a winner.

When I first made this, I didn’t use the black sesame seeds, but when I updated the photos I couldn’t resist sprinkling some 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.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

Chinese Cucumber Salad process shots collage

How to make this recipe:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Peel the cucumbers, or if you have fresh garden cucumbers, leave on some of the peel.
  2. Cut cucumber in half and scrape out the seeds.
  3. Then cut the cucumbers into slices.
  4. Soak the cucumbers in salted ice water for 30 minutes. (Probably optional, but this makes them really crisp.)
  5. 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.
  6. After 30 minutes drain the cucumbers well.
  7. 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.
  8. Then drain the marinated cucumbers.
  9. Serve salad with the reserved dressing drizzled over and sprinkle with Black Sesame Seeds (affiliate link) if desired.

Chinese Cucumber Salad vertical shot of finished salad on plate

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

For a low-carb meal, this would go well with Forbidden City Chicken or Grilled Chicken Sanpete Kabobs.

More Cucumber Salads to Try:

Cucumber and Radish Salad with Feta Dressing from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Estonian Cucumber Salad from Nami Nami
Thai Cucumber Salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Chinese Cucumber Salad

Chinese Cucumber Salad

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Chinese Cucumber Salad is an interesting salad to make with garden cucumbers.



  • 4 medium sized cucumbers
  • 2 T sea salt (for soaking water)
  • black sesame seeds for garnishing salad (optional but fun)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 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)


  1. Peel cucumbers, leaving some of the peel on in stripes if they are fresh garden cucumbers.
  2. Cut each cucumber in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.
  3. Cut cucumbers in 1/2 inch thick slices.
  4. Soak 30 minutes in salted ice water. (I used 2 T sea salt in the water.)
  5. 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.
  6.  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.)
  7. Let marinate 30 minutes in the fridge, turning the container over a few times.
  8. After 30 minutes more, drain the cucumbers.
  9. Put cucumbers on serving dish, drizzle over the reserved dressing, and sprinkle with black sesame seeds if desired.
  10.  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)

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

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 all phases of the original South Beach Diet, and any low-carb eating plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Cucumber Recipes or Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest 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 2021.

Pinterest image of Chinese Cucumber Salad

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    25 Comments on “Chinese Cucumber Salad”

  1. Alanna, my favorite cucumber variety is Sweet Slice. I think if you look for cucumbers that say "burpless" they will have thinner skins. I agree, hate the tough skins. Hope you enjoy the salad!

  2. Hi Kalyn,

    Garden question here, do/did you raise a particular kind of cucumber that has tender skins? The skins here are tough-tough-tough, I rarely want to leave even a thin stripe.

    PS Your salad is in the fridge! Thanks for all the ideas on Pinterest last night!

  3. Natalie, thanks so much for the nice feedback. Very glad you enjoyed the salad.

  4. Hi Kalyn, You have such a great website! Such a wonderful resource for finding creative south beach recipes. I made this salad yesterday, gobbled it up and made it again today. So delicious even without soaking and draining the cucumbers (I'm very impatient). I loved it. Thank you for the recipe!

  5. I ate a whole cucumber the other day without anything and it was so good. This cucumber salad sounds really good – love the spiciness and the trick of soaking the cucumbers in cold water to make them crispier. I just made some cucumber pickles the other day as I had tons of cucumbers I needed to use up.