Asian Cucumber Salad

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With St. Patty’s Day coming up, it seems like every blogger I know is sharing all of their best Irish-themed or green colored recipes.  It’s time for me to jump on the bandwagon!  Usually these St. Patty’s Day recipes sound delicious but aren’t necessarily very healthy (i.e. corned beef, fried potatoes, desserts with green food coloring and beer, etc.).


I’m happy to say that this Asian Cucumber Salad is green AND healthy – In fact, it’s gluten-free, sugar-free, and Paleo-friendly!  It’s also super low-cal but yet bursting with bright flavors like refreshing cucumber, tangy vinegar, and spicy ginger.  I think my favorite component is the toasted sesame seeds – They take a little extra time but toasting them really brings out their nutty flavor and gives this salad a nice little crunch.  This side dish certainly packs a flavor punch!

So if you need something green and lucky to bring to a St. Patty’s Day celebration, this would be a great way to switch it up and don’t worry, I’m sure other people will still bring plenty of sweet treats to indulge in. 😉


Asian Cucumber Salad

Inspired by Korean Cucumber Salad

Yields roughly 3 cups


  • 1/3 cup vinegar (If you enjoy things a bit tangier, increase to 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 red or yellow onion
  • 1 cucumber (mine was roughly 6-7 inches long)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: pinch of crushed red pepper if you want some heat

What to Do

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add your vinegar, olive oil, and ground ginger.  Stir to combine.
  2. Roughly chop your onion and add it to the vinegar mixture.
  3. Thinly slice your cucumber and also add to the vinegar mixture.  Set that bowl aside.
  4. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and add the 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Scatter the sesame seeds and lightly toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly so they don’t burn.
  5. Add the toasted sesame seeds to the bowl and combine everything.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

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43 thoughts on “Asian Cucumber Salad

    • Thanks, Kenley. It’s really refreshing and I think it would be great during the summer. Love your suggestion of bringing it to a potluck – especially because it’s SO cheap to make!

  1. Leah, your photos have been looking really great lately! I love the pastel theme in this post 🙂 And YUM. I always love these types of salads in restaurants, but I never make them at home. I’m putting it on my list–this looks super easy and I think I even have some pre-toasted sesame seeds somewhere in my cupboard!

    • Thanks, Erika – You’re the best!! I’ve been working on just taking pictures during the day on the weekend. Natural light really does make all the difference!

      I didn’t even know they sold PRE-toasted sesame seeds. That would make this dish even MORE quick to whip up. I’ll have to look for some. 🙂 I think this would be a great detox food too – especially with the vinegar!

    • Thanks, Joan – I’m not a huge spice fan either but Jon loves it! If your husband likes cucumbers, I definitely think he’ll enjoy this! Honestly, I don’t like raw cucumbers plain but when they’re jazzed up with ginger and vinegar, I’m in!

  2. One of my fav salads that my mom used to make me when I was a child was a cucumber one. She mixed it with yogurt and some sugar and it was soooo good. Needless to say I am a total fan of the one you made!

    • Oooo that sounds really good – I’m thinking the yogurt and sugar combo would be delish with some bright basil added in too! Look at the ideas you’re giving me! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jess. I thought I’d try to stand out from the crowd this year! 😉 You still have a little time if you choose to share a St. Patty’s Day post!

  3. Cucumber salad is one of my favorite “banchan,” esp during the scorching summer months! Red chili pepper powder is a MUST for me 😉

  4. Pingback: Cucumber Sea Salad - Gourmet Cooking with Ruth

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