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.
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’.
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.
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.
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!
- Cucumber. This cool, refreshing ingredient is just what your potluck needs on a hot summer day.
- 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.
- 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.
- Slice the cucumbers and place them in a large bowl. Add the peanuts.
- Whisk together the soy sesame dressing.
- Stir the dressing into the salad and ENJOY!
- 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.
What To Serve With
- Teriyaki Burgers with Grilled Pinapple – Hawaiian Teriyaki Burgers. Moist, juicy chicken or turkey burgers topped with a sweet and tangy teriyaki burger sauce, grilled pineapple, and onion.
- Soy Ginger Salmon – Baked Soy Ginger Salmon—An easy, foolproof recipe for moist and flavorful baked salmon with honey soy ginger glaze. Simple, healthy, and delicious!
- Crispy Asian Chicken Tenders – Oven-baked Crispy Asian Chicken Tenders. Juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, with an addictive ginger, soy sauce, and garlic marinade.
- Egg Roll In A Bowl – The BEST Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe! This easy egg roll in a bowl with ground turkey and broccoli slaw is a healthy and low-carb meal.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Chef’s Knife. The most essential of kitchen tools.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. Cut cucumbers (and everything else!) more safely.
- Liquid Measuring Cups. Dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and perfect for measuring and mixing dressing at the same time.
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
- 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
- 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.
- *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.
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