Snappy Asian Cucumber Salad with peanuts and a bright sesame dressing is just the recipe to keep you cool in the approaching hot summer months.

asian cucumber salad with sesame oil dressing

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It’s fresh, crunchy, cooling, and alluring.

I’m looking forward to enjoying it beside my grilled favorites this summer, and I know you’ll love it too!

This crunchy Asian cucumber salad hails from my friend and fellow blogger Kelly Senyei’s new cookbook, The Secret Ingredient Cookbook. It has 125 family-friendly recipes, each with a secret ingredient designed to give that recipe a special somethin’ somethin’.

Cookbook with crunchy asian cucumber salad

Kelly is a professionally trained chef, a mother of three young boys, and a lovely person. When she says these recipe taste fantastic and are kiddo-approved, you know she means it.

I don’t want to give away Kelly’s secrets (you’ll find them highlighted with each recipe in the book). I can tell you each of them is accessible, fun, and will give you new ideas to elevate your everyday cooking. (Croissants in panzanella? Peanut butter in bacon wrapped dates? Yes please!)

The secret ingredient in this Asian cucumber salad (which you can find on page 111) is honey roasted peanuts.

asian cucumber salad ingredients

Their touch of salty/sweetness wakes up the cucumbers and pairs fantastically with the zippy sesame dressing. I am all about their additional crunch-factor too.

Cucumber salads are not always the first dish that pops into my mind to bring to a potluck (Black Bean Corn Salad and Strawberry Spinach Salad have a way of stealing my attention), which is a shame because they are a perfect accompaniment at any cookout.

As Kelly points out, cucumbers are popular around the world.

I remember having Thai cucumber salads while visiting southeast Asia. Kelly shares about a Hungarian version her family enjoys. I grew up eating Creamy Cucumber Salad in the Midwest, and this Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad has serious California vibes.

crunchy asian cucumber salad with soy sauce

The cool cucumber fits in just about anywhere!

How to Make Asian Cucumber Salad

The ingredients in this recipe couldn’t be simpler, but they work together to create a spectacular salad.

Minimal ingredients. Maximum payoff. This is summer cooking at its finest!


The Ingredients

  • Cucumber. This cool, refreshing ingredient is just what your potluck needs on a hot summer day.

Substitution Tip!

  • This recipe calls for Persian cucumbers or Japanese cucumbers, which are small, thin-skinned, and nearly seedless. Our grocery labels them “mini cucumbers”.
  • Mini cucumbers are a nice choice for cucumber salad, because they do not get as mushy as regular cucumbers. (If you are wondering why your cucumber salad is watery, the type of cucumber can be a factor.)
  • Their thin skins mean you don’t need to peel them first, and since they have so few seeds, you don’t need to scrape them out.
  • If you can’t find mini cucumbers, English cucumbers are your best bet. They also have thin skins (so you don’t need to peel them either) but I find they are more watery, and you will need to scrape the seeds out first.
  • Honey Roasted Peanuts. The secret ingredient! They up the crunch factor (always a positive with a cucumber salad) and work well with the sauce sauce dressing.
  • Sesame Oil. This ingredient gives anything you add it to complexity and nuttiness. Just 1 little teaspoon ups the satisfaction factor of the dressing.
  • Rice Vinegar. The tangy component that balances the honey roasted peanuts. It gives the dressing a sweet and sour factor that is irresistible.
  • Soy Sauce. The umami factor that seasons this cucumber salad and wakes up all of the other flavors.

Dietary Note

To make this cucumber salad gluten free, ensure your soy sauce is gluten free or swap in tamari.

  • Garlic. To give our dressing some zip.
  • Sugar. One tiny pinch balances the saltiness of the soy sauce and sourness of the rice vinegar. You can swap in honey if you prefer.

The Directions

asian cucumber salad with soy sauce
  1. Slice the cucumbers and place them in a large bowl. Add the peanuts.
soy sauce dressing for asian cucumber salad
  1. Whisk together the soy sesame dressing.
asian cucumber salad with soy sauce
  1. Stir the dressing into the salad and ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. This salad tastes best the day it is made but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Taste and season the leftovers with a little extra soy sauce as needed.
  • To Freeze. I do not recommend freezing cucumbers. Their high water content will cause them to become mushy.

Meal Prep Tip

Mix up the dressing up to 1 day in advance. Store in the refrigerator.

Leftover Ideas

Toss the leftovers with greens and Teriyaki Salmon for a tasty lunch salad.

Pair this with

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

All-Purpose Measuring Cups

These liquid measuring cups (don’t measure your liquid ingredients in the dry kind!) are dishwasher and microwave safe. Perfect for measuring and mixing dressings and sauces at the same time (you can’t have too many!).

asian cucumber salad with sesame oil dressing

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

Thank you Kelly for sharing this recipe with us, and congrats on your book! You can learn more about The Secret Ingredient Cookbook and pick up your copy here.

asian cucumber salad with sesame oil dressing

Asian Cucumber Salad

This cool, crunchy Asian Cucumber Salad is fresh, healthy, and ready in minutes! Tossed with a sesame soy sauce dressing, it's a perfect side!

Prep: 15 mins
Total: 15 mins

Servings: 4

Ingredients
  

  • 6 Persian or Japanese cucumbers* often labeled “mini cucumbers”
  • 1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts chopped
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Crushed red pepper flakes for serving

Instructions
 

  • Slice the cucumbers into 1/4-inch pieces, transfer to a bowl.
  • Add the peanuts.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and sugar.
  • Add the dressing to the cucumbers and peanuts and toss to combine. Top with crushed red pepper flakes to taste and serve.

Notes

  • *You also can swap 2 medium/large English cucumbers. Before slicing, cut the English cucumbers in half lengthwise, then with a small spoon, scrape out the seeds.
  • Recipe reprinted with permission from The Secret Ingredient Cookbook by Kelly Senyei. The original recipe calls for 2 Persian cucumbers but I am a fan of the higher veggie ratio, so I added extra. Feel free to adjust to your taste.
  • TO STORE. This salad tastes best the day it is made but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Taste and season the leftovers with a little extra soy sauce as needed.
  • TO FREEZE. I do not recommend freezing cucumbers. Their high water content will cause them to become mushy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 4Calories: 140kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 6gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPotassium: 274mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 88IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. The recipe calls for one teaspoon of sugar, but the article mentions using just a pinch, which I believe is closer to 1/16th teaspoon. Can you please clarify this? Thank you.

    1. Hi Marilyn! GREAT question. I was using “a pinch” as a synonym for “a little” vs. indicating a specific amount. 1 teaspoon is correct.