Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Asian Inspired Cucumber Salad

We are a family of salad lovers. I know I've said it before, but I'm truly blessed with children who are not picky and always willing to give something new a try. They also adore their "greens" and a meal at our house would not be complete without a salad or vegetable along with dinner. Sure they all have their favorites, but even some of the less liked vegetables get eaten. They are all in agreement though when it comes to cucumbers; every single one of my kids loves them. They enjoy them when tucked into their lunchboxes with a little bit of light ranch dressing, but also love cucumbers with abundance when included in any kind of salad. 

My husband brought home two gorgeous looking English cucumbers a couple of days ago and after snacking on one, I still had one leftover to make a salad. I was looking for an Asian inspired recipe since I was preparing a Thai meal that evening. Checking the inventory of my fridge I also found carrots, radishes and red onion and figured all of them would fit perfectly into a salad. I found a basic recipe on Savory Sweet Life and decided to give it a go. This salad comes together quickly, it's the cutting of the carrots and radishes into matchsticks which will take you the longest. Once all the vegetables are cut, they are combined with the dressing. The vinaigrette is a simple mixture of rice vinegar, sugar (which I reduced from the original), chili garlic sauce and salt. The dressing is added to the vegetables and then everything is refrigerated for a couple of hours. I added two teaspoons of the chili garlic sauce and found it a sufficient heat level, but feel free to add more or less to taste.

This salad turned out great. The kids and us adults really enjoyed this great mix of sweet and sour along with the crunch of the vegetables. This is definitely a keeper and lends itself to so many different meals. I especially loved this salad since it is very light and with no oil in the vinaigrette it is also not too shabby on your waistline and boy, don't we all know that the bathing suit season is approaching!

Asian Inspired Cucumber Salad

1 English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (a mandolin works great)
1 large carrot, peeled and matchstick-julienned
4 radishes, matchstick-julienned
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a microwavable bowl add rice vinegar, sugar, chili garlic sauce, and salt. Heat the bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds. Stir the vinaigrette until the sugar is completely dissolved. In a medium size bowl add the sliced cucumbers, carrots, radishes, and red onion. Pour vinaigrette over the cucumber mixture and toss. Cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Slightly adapted from: Savory Sweet Life 


  1. What a departure from the norm, Lovely salad for sure.

  2. I love english cucumbers and especially love cucumber salad. I've never made an asian inspired cucumber salad before, this looks so good. And the vinaigrette sounds so flavorful. I can't wait to try this. :)

  3. Ooooh delicious! A keeper for sure. :-)

  4. We made something very similar to this last night at school! Yum :)

  5. This looks like the perfect salad for your near 90 days. It's going to rain/snow on April 1. I do not like this as an April Fools.

  6. I just came across that chili garlic sauce yesterday. I'm going to go back and pick a jar up to give it a try. I like how you've used it here in this vibrant, healthy salad. =)

  7. Delicious salad. Cucumbers are a favorite of mine in the spring and summer. I'm always looking for an Asian style dressing for the salad and carry it over to my grilled shrimp. Perfect for my quick summer weekend meals

    Thanks for sharing,

  8. Hi Susi! Wow, this looks so fresh! I have been craving Asian flavors lately. I love that this is so light and springy. Perfect for the season!

  9. This would indeed be perfect with a Thai meal. I love their mildly pickled salads and they are the perfect foil for a spicy meal. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  10. I just discovered your blog via Mary, and I'm in awe of your beautiful photos and gorgeous, innovative recipes! I can't wait to try this colorful salad - I think it will even convert my fiance into a cucumber fan! :-)

  11. What a beautiful salad which also sounds delicious. I have been craving cucumbers lately so this has me just about drooling. And by the way, Susi, you, as a Mom are to be commended that your children are not "picky eaters". That didn't happen by accident. ;-)

  12. Such a bright and flavorful salad! It looks so crisp and fresh. I bet it would be wonderful as a meal on its own with some grilled shrimp on top!

  13. What a wonderful refreshing salad...I bet it would taste great on a hot summer day! I love cucumbers...I am bookmarking this one for sure! ;)

  14. Mmm, I love salads too, and this looks fresh and tasty.

  15. Looks crunchy and delicious! I love those English cucumbers- so sweet! :)

  16. That looks wonderful! I am absolutely obsessed with chili-garlic sauce. I put it on almost everything, it sounds like it would go great with the salad :o)

  17. I've definitely been all about great salads lately - and this is surely one of them! Can't wait to try it out! =)

  18. Sigh.... oh, how I wish my family (husband included!) would love their veggies. I try and try and try and am constantly met with turned up noses and complaints. They do well with all kinds of fruits, but veggies just don't make the cut.
    This one however, seems to be something that would go over well. Love the sweet/sour combos!

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