A spicy Asian cucumber salad that's crunchy & refreshing with a bit of heat! Marinated cucumbers tossed with chili flakes, chili oil, and fresh herbs!
Random fact about me: I can eat an excessive amount of cucumbers. I definitely eat more than my fair share and have been known to hoard them in my fridge. It makes me feel good, it’s green, and I feel healthy eating them. This spicy Asian cucumber salad is garlicky, tangy, and crunchy with a bit of heat! It makes a great appetizer or side and can be paired with any Asian entrees, especially anything that's heavy on meat.
My favorite thing about this spicy Asian cucumber salad is how crunchy the cucumbers are and how well the flavors go together. This dish is perfect for warm weather days because it's so light and refreshing, and it tastes amazing chilled.
The dressing is tangy and garlicky and made with rice vinegar, water, Korean pepper flakes, and chili oil. Add sugar for sweetness if that's what you prefer or leave it out. It's delicious both ways. The longer it sits in the dressing, the better it tastes!
I first brought this spicy Asian cucumber salad to a Korean bbq and everyone loved it! It was gone in no time and I wish I had brought more. This is perfect for a picnic, bbq, or potluck. It travels well, doesn't need to be refrigerated, and it's a great side to have during a grill out.
Tips for Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad:
- Use Persian cucumbers or pickling cucumbers. English cucumbers can be used but they won't be as crunchy as Persian or pickling cucumbers. I highly recommend using those instead.
- Salt the cucumbers and let them sit for at least 30 minutes up to 45 minutes. This helps them release some liquid as they absorb the salt. The brining process gives them a really crunchy texture. I let mine sit for 45 minutes.
- Make sure to rinse off the salt after brining. Then add the dressing.
Depending on how spicy you want it, you can add more or less Korean pepper flakes. If you haven't cooked with Korean pepper flakes, you need to give them a try! They're completely different from your generic red pepper flakes because it's a an entirely different pepper. They're more flavorful, more earthy, and a little bit sweet. This topic definitely deserves its own post but at this point, I'll just have to tell you to try it yourself to know the difference. 🙂
I hope you make this spicy Asian cucumber salad! Please share, rate, and comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
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Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad
- 15 Persian cucumbers - cut ½" thick, a little over 4 cups
- 1 Tablespoon sea salt
- ¼ cup red bell pepper - julienned
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 stalk of scallion - thinly sliced
Spicy Cucumber Salad Dressing
- Mix together the cucumbers and salt in a large bowl and let it sit for 30 - 45 minutes. Rinse with water 2 - 3 times. Taste the cucumber and rinse one more time if it's too salty.
- Meanwhile mix together all the ingredients for the spicy cucumber salad dressing.
- Toss the rinsed cucumbers with the dressing and add the red pepper, cilantro, and scallion. Serve immediately. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
✎ Recipe Notes
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.