Get refreshed and fill your belly with savory veggie power with this Thai Cucumber Salad. Made with a blend of cucumbers, green onions, and cilantro, then topped off with a savory and slightly hot vinegar and sesame oil dressing.
In my house, Thai food is always a yes. It’s rare that you’ll find me turning it down! Being as I love a great Thai curry and have included a number of different renditions on my blog (banana or coconut curry, anyone?), I decided that it was time to make a Thai dish that’s cold, crispy, and refreshing.
And with that, Thai cucumber salad quickly became one of my favorites! It’s a jam packed dish filled with nutritious greens and a sweet but slightly hot (depending on your preference) dressing that hits the spot. It’s the perfect summer salad!
One thing that’s great about this recipe is that it fits into so many different diet guidelines. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, low-carb, and vegan. Basically, it can be enjoyed by nearly everyone, which makes it great for taking to summer BBQs or serving up at your own gathering or dinner party.
“Thanks Sarah. I’m starting to feel like a groupie with all your recipes that have made my regular rotation. This is a pretty common salad but when I saw a recipe from your site I tried that one first. No need to play around with others because this is perfect. Your recipes have not let me down yet.” —Anthony
Thai cucumber salad ingredients
No salad is complete without a delicious, seemingly indulgent dressing! To make it you’ll just need:
- Rice Vinegar: This will give the dressing a slight tang like what you’d find in vinaigrette, but with a Thai-inspired twist! If you can’t find it, use one of these rice vinegar replacements!
- Sugar: Next we’ll add a spoonful of sugar! I know sugar in a savory salad sounds weird, but it gives the salad a slight, almost undetectable sweet flavor.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: It’s always great to have a bit of oil in dressing, so we’re using delicious toasted sesame!
- Salt: Salt helps to bring out the flavors of the vinaigrette. You’ll just need a dash!
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: I like to use ¼ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes for a slight bite, but you can use more or less depending on your preference!
- Garlic: Finally, every dish needs a bit of garlic. Add 1 to 2 minced cloves.
When it comes to the actual ingredients, we’re keeping it simple and sticking to just three different items.
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers make up the base of this salad. We’ll be using 2 large seedless cucumbers (a.k.a. English cucumbers).
- Green Onions: Sliced green onions add a subtle onion flavor (without the strong bite that red or white onion would).
- Cilantro: Gotta have the cilantro! Refreshing and herby, it helps to give this salad that characteristic Thai flavor.
- Optional: While this cucumber salad is delicious without peanuts, feel free to add a handful of either chopped peanuts or almonds for a bit of extra crunch!
How to make vegan cucumber salad
Salads are usually pretty easy to make, especially when they don’t include meat or require any sort of cooking. This Thai cucumber salad is no different. In less than 15 minutes, the following three steps will create 4 delicious servings.
- Make the dressing: Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients to dissolve the sugar.
- Prep the salad: Slice the cucumbers into ¼ inch rounds. Then, thinly slice the green onions and finely chop the cilantro. Toss everything together, optionally adding a handful of chopped peanuts or almonds.
- Assemble the dish: Finally, drizzle the dressing over the cucumber salad and gently toss to combine.
If you have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days. Use airtight containers to maintain fresh crispiness.
It will store best if the dressing hasn’t been mixed into it yet, so if you’re preparing this in advance for a party or get together, just wait until right before serving to combine it all!
How to serve cucumber salad
Cucumber salad can be served up in a variety of ways. It can certainly act as a stand alone main course, but there are also a few dishes that will pair exceptionally well.
This salad pairs well with Vegan Rainbow Spring Rolls. You can also use the salad as a side or even use it to fill the spring rolls!
You can also use this as a side dish alongside a number of Asian vegetarian recipes. Here are some of our favorites!
- Korean Kimchi Soup
- Kimchi Bibimbap
- Sticky Garlic Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Pulled “Pork” Bao Buns
- Khao Soi (Noodle Soup!)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar 60 mL
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 5 mL
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large seedless cucumbers
- 4 green onions
- ¼ cup cilantro
- Optional: handful of chopped peanuts or almonds
- Dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients to dissolve the sugar.
- Salad: Slice cucumbers into ¼ inch rounds. Thinly slice the green onion. Finely chop the cilantro. Toss it all together, optionally adding a handful of chopped peanuts or almonds.
- Assemble: Drizzle dressing over cucumber salad and gently toss combine.