Asian Cucumber Salad

Asian Cucumber Salad, made with fresh crunchy cucumbers, onion, and an Asian dressing, is a refreshing and easy-to-make side dish . The versatile dressing is savoury and has a hint of heat from chili crisp.

This Asian cucumber salad recipe is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The crispiness of fresh cucumber, the sweetness of onion slices, the freshness of green onions, and the nutty aroma of toasted sesame seeds – everything tossed in a tantalizing Asian salad dressing.

This salad is refreshing and simple to make. The Asian dressing is packed with umami. And I am little obbsessed with chili crisps and add it to almost everything. Absolutely love how this simple ingredtient has so much depth of flavour and elevates a dish.

It was time we took a break from creamy Cucumber salad and tried this version. I was unsure how the family would like this salad because we are so used to the regular creamy version. In India, yogurt-based cucumber raita is part of an everyday meal. Surprisingly, it was received well.

This salad is a refreshing side dish for a barbeque or a potluck. During summer, it is great because of the cucumber’s cooling properties. You can make this salad any time because the ingredients are easily available all year.

Come summer, and we have some great dishes to help with your lunch/dinner ideas using cucumber. Try these Cucumber sandwiches on your next picnic or for high tea. Cucumber Strawberry Salad has cucumber paired with the sweetness of strawberry, another summer favourite.

Asian salad dressing with sliced cucumber


This salad has the simplest of ingredients.

  • Cucumber – Fresh crunchy ones for the best texture and least bitterness. You may use English, Persian cucumbers, Japanese cucumbers, or mini cucumbers instead.
  • Onion– Thinly sliced. I prefer red onion. I sometime also skip red onion and use the white part of the the green onion.
  • Green Onions – adds freshness and a crunch to the salad.
  • Toasted sesame seeds – give a crunch and a nutty taste.
  • Salt

Apart from these, you can add thinly sliced red pepper, chopped fresh cilantro, etc. Keep it simple and let the fresh veggies sign through.

Five ingredients Asian salad dressing

The Asian dressing is the heart and soul of the dish. Cucumber, as such, doesn’t have much taste or flavor. This dressing gives life to the salad yet doesn’t overpower the natural taste of the veggies. You need just five ingredients for the dressing,

  • Rice wine Vinegar – You can also substitute with White wine vinegar.
  • Sesame Oil – I prefer toasted Sesame Oil. It gives a nutty flavor.
  • Soy Sauce – Asian flavor is incomplete without soy sauce. You get the umami from Soy sauce.
  • Sugar – To balance the sauce with some sweetness. I didn’t like the after taste of honey/ maple syrup in this recipe
  • Chilli crisp– Look for one that is not too spicy, so that you can add a good amount of it for flavour without buring off your face with the heat.

I haven’t added any garlic, as chilli crisps has already garlic in it.

Ingredients for

How to make Asian Cucumber Salad

Chop and assemble – that’s it. It takes ten minutes to prep the veggies and assemble everything to make the salad. That’s how quick and easy this cucumber salad recipe is.


Cut – Using a kitchen knife or Mandoline slicer, slice the cucumber. Make sure the cucumber slices are not too thin, as they tend to wilt when comes in contact with salt. So to keep it crunchy, the thickness needs to 1/4 inch or a little more. Another popular version is to smash and cut cucumbers into chunks(a little messy but fun way to cut). Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to smash. Then cut into 1-inch chunks.

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Salt and drain- Gather the sliced cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle a pinch of salt on them. Toss them a few times to ensure the slices get uniformly salted. Place them in a colander and a bowl underneath to collect dripping water. Keep it for at least 20-30 minutes, then press gently with the back of a spatula to drain as much water as possible.

While the cucumber rests, you can chop the onions into thin slices and the green onions into small rounds. Also, in a dry, hot pan, toast the sesame seeds. When the seeds turn light brown and fragrant, please turn off the heat, remove the sesame seeds, and keep them aside.

In a small bowl, add the ingredients for the salad dressing. Whisk all until it blends. Taste the dressing and add more sugar; if the dressing is more salty and sour.

Assemble and toss

Add the chopped cucumber, sliced red, and green onions in a big bowl. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds all over. Toss everything until the seeds are distributed evenly.

Drizzle the salad dressing over them and toss again well, ensuring the dressing coats everything.

Sliced cucumbers, green onion tossed in a Asian inspired dressing, chilli crisp and toasted sesame seeds.

Possible Variations

You can work with different Asian flavours and give your own personal twist.

For a Thai-inspired version – Skip chilli crisps. Add a splash of fish sauce, grated ginger (about 1/2 teaspoon) and some crushed salted peanuts instead of sesame seeds. Pinch of chilli flakes or a bird eye chilli for heat.

For Korean version – With Korean recipes in all rage recently, give this salad a Korean twist. Replace chili crisp with gochugaru (Korean chilli powder)

Frequently asked questions

Is it necessery to salt cucumber?

Cucumber has very high percentage of water and salt draws out a lot of water from it. If not salted and drained the cucukes beforehnad, the released water will dilute and water down the dressing. In fact if time permits, I would recommned dry the slices on a kitchen towel to dry them as much as possible before adding the dressing

How To Cut Cucumber For Salad?

What we want is thinly sliced Cucumber. I use my trusted knife to cut thin slices because I am too lazy to get the Mandoline slicer. Show off your knife skill or take the easy way out and use a mandoline slicer. Try not to make the slices too thick

Can we make this salad ahead?

It can be made a day ahead.  Cut all the veggies, salt and drain the cukes and store them in an airtight container. In a separate container, you can store the dressing. If the sliced veggies are kept longer in the refrigerator, they will lose their freshness. So I prefer making this salad a few hours before it is consumed.
I like the cucumber and onion crispy in my salad.

Can we freeze Cucumber Salad?

Because of the high water content, cucumber doesn’t freeze well. So, no, this salad can’t be frozen. But the dressing stays fresh for up to a week. So a bottle of salad dressing in the refrigerator comes in handy.

Sliced cucumbers, green onion tossed in a Asian inspired dressing, chilli crisp and toasted sesame seeds.

Store leftovers

The longer the salad sits, more water draws into the dressing, hence diluting the flavours. So I would suggest consuming it with in an hour of making it. But in case of leftovers, you can definelty refrigerate it, just that it will not taste the same the next day.

Serve with

Asian cucumber salad serves as light lunch or dinner. It also is a refreshing side dish to a variety of main courses.

More Summer Salad Recipes…

  • Roasted Corn Salad – Charring adds flavor to sweet corn and pairs well with a lemony, savory dressing.
  • Italian Chopped Salad – Authentic Italian salad with fresh greens, tomatoes, and onions tossed in a light vinaigrette.
  • Chinese Chicken Salad – Asian flavors from crispy noodles and chicken stir-fried in a sesame dressing.
  • Chicken Pasta Salad – Grilled chicken is tossed with pasta and veggies in a lemon-herb dressing.
  • Vegan Macaroni Salad – A creamy salad recipe with pasta and crisp vegetables.
  • Pesto Pasta Salad – Classic Italian salad made with homemade pesto tossed with pasta, veggies, and greens.
  • Easy and Zesty Quinoa Salad – Quinoa, vegetables, and feta cheese with an olive oil vinaigrette.
Flavours of Kitchen Logo

Asian Cucumber Salad

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Asian Cucumber Salad with fresh crunchy Cucumber, Onion and an Asian dressing is a great summer side dish for any meal. Sweet and tangy salad dressing is packed with punch and delicious.
Servings 4 servings


  • 4 Lebanese Cucumber sliced
  • 1 Red onion sliced
  • 2-3 Green Onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • ¾ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons Chili crisp ( Adjust as per taste)

For Asian Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons Low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoons Sugar



  • Using a knife, chop the cucumber into slightly thick slices
  • Toss cucumber slices with salt, place them in a collander and keep a bowl underneath to collect dripping water. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Then press the cucumbers gently with a spatula to release as much water as possible. If time permits dry the slices with kitchen towel.
  • Slice the onion into thin rings, and, the green onions.
  • In a dry, hot pan, roast the sesame seeds until they turn light brown and become fragrant.
  • Whisk all the ingredients for salad dressing in a bowl. Check the seasoning.

Assemble and toss

  • In a big salad bowl add cucumber, onion, chopped green onion. and sesame seeds.
  • Drizzle with the dressing. Toss everything well. Top it with more chilli crisp if preferred.



  • If using english cucumber which are longer in size , use 2 instead.
  • We are already salting the cucumber in the first step and there is salt in soy sauce. So no need of adding extra salt.
  • Opt for a chilli crisp that is less spicy, so that you can use it generously without making it too spicy.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 55kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 133mg | Potassium: 284mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 278IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg
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One Comment

  1. Chile Head says:

    5 stars
    Just one nit: this ¼ teaspoon Red Chilli Flakes should be ¼ teaspoon Red Chille Flakes
    Chili is a dish with beans and meat or just meat – chiles are the pods of the chile pepper plant
    ChileHead in New Mexico 🙂

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