Sometimes you need a quick side dish to compliment your meal. If you loved cucumbers but are tired of relying on pickles (let’s face it: they don’t “go” with everything) then this Chinese cucumber sesame salad is the just the thing. It comes together in a flash and as it sits in the fridge the flavors intensify. This is a great dish to bring to picnics and potlucks and it’s perfect for when you want a meal you don’t have to heat up in the summer.
For this recipe you’ll need 2 cucumbers. If you don’t like the seeds then you can use the English variety, which are long and kind of skinny. Fun fact, they aren’t actually totally seedless, but instead have small, soft, immature seeds that you pretty much don’t notice when you’re eating them.
I don’t mind the seeds on regular cucumbers, but both varieties are excellent in this salad. Combine the sliced cucumbers with a chopped green onion and some cilantro before making the dressing.
The dressing is a lively blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, red pepper flakes, and sesame oil. This last ingredient gives the dressing a nutty flavor and silky mouthfeel that other oils simply cannot provide.
To enhance that sesame flavor sprinkle some sesame seeds on the salad along with the dressing and then toss it all together.
This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve made in a long time, but it’s been the ideal side dish for busy nights. It’s fresh, light, and healthy- not to mention that it’s a unique offering at the dinner table.
Chinese Cucumber Sesame Salad
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- dash crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 cucumbers, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
- Combine garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and honey in bowl. Whisk together until combined.
- In a large bowl toss together cucumbers, cilantro, green onion, and sesame seeds. Pour dressing over top of vegetables and toss to combine before serving.
Recipe adapted from Ahead of Thyme.