Asian Cucumber Salad

Thai cucumber salad

Asian Cucumber Salad – a five-minute recipe

This easy Asian-style Cucumber Salad is fresh and zesty. The cucumber is dressed with sweetened lime juice, soy sauce and Thai fish sauce flavoured with garlic and chilli.

This salad is exactly what I want to eat in January. Following the culinary excesses of Christmas and the New Year, I am looking for fresh and healthy, flavour-packed dishes which are quick and easy to prepare. This salad takes only five minutes to make and has a fantastic chilli-spiced, sweet and salty dressing to enhance the crunchy cucumber.

Although this Cucumber Salad is Asian-inspired, I quite often use it as an accompaniment to simple grilled fish, such as salmon steaks, but it would also go well with grilled chicken or meat. It is also great as a snack as it has that hit of taste and chilli heat which means that you feel satisfied without taking in lots of calories.

What you need to know about this recipe

  • This is one of the easiest salads that you can make. It really is just a question of peeling and chopping the cucumber, mixing the dressing and combining.
  • Make sure that you use a ceramic or glass bowl for this salad. If you use a metal bowl, it may react with the ingredients.
  • This salad is not vegetarian as the recipe includes Thai fish sauce. If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute the fish sauce with an additional tablespoon of soy sauce. In fact, that will make the recipe vegan.
  • If you don’t like chilli, you can leave it out.
  • You can eat this salad immediately. However, I think the flavour improves if it is kept for an hour or two. Don’t leave it longer than that as the salty dressing will draw the liquid out of the cucumber. That will mean that there is a lot of liquid in the salad and the flavours will be diluted.

Other easy salads

I love salads and eat them all the year around – not just in summer. If you like this recipe, you might also like some of my other salad recipes.

Asian Cucumber Salad recipe

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Thai cucumber salad

Asian Cucumber Salad

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  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 as a side dish 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Thai


This fresh-tasting Asian-style Cucumber Salad can be made in five minutes.   The cool crunchy cucumber is enhanced by chilli heat and the sweet-salty dressing.    

I like to eat this kind of salad in January, after the culinary excesses of Christmas and New Year, when its freshness and strong, zesty flavours are especially welcome – as is the fact that it can be thrown together in five minutes!  However, it is just as good on a hot summer day.


  • 1 cucumber
  • Half a fresh red chilli, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Juice of half a lime


  1. Peel the cucumber to remove the dark green outer skin.  Chop into the cucumber into chunks.  I find the easiest way to do this is to cut the cucumber in half lengthways and then slice each half into 1 cm chunks.
  2. In a glass or ceramic bowl combine the finely chopped red chilli (or dried chilli flakes), crushed garlic clove, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and lime  juice.   Do not use a metal bowl as this may react with the ingredients.
  3. Add the cucumber chunks to the ingredients in the bowl and mix well.


This salad can be eaten immediately.  However, I think the flavours improve if it is left in the fridge for several hours.    It also keeps well in the fridge for several days.   

You can make a vegan version of this recipe by replacing the fish sauce with extra soy sauce.

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