Cool crunchy cucumbers tossed in a sweet and sour dressing with fresh mint and fiery chilies. Easy to assemble, packed with delicious sweet, salty, sour, spicy flavors, this Thai cucumber salad is perfect for summer.
Cucumbers aren’t generally the main attraction at my house. I mostly use them as a vehicle for dip or for serving my smoked salmon tartar. In this refreshing summer salad, they are wonderful in their own right. Crisp juicy cucumber slices carry all the delicious complexity of the fresh herbs, fiery Thai chilies and vibrant sweet and sour dressing. This is a great summer side dish that you can whip up in about 20 minutes.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THAI CUCUMBER SALAD?
The easiest way to make Thai cucumber salad is to peel, de-seed and slice the cucumbers, toss them with a little salt and let them drain in a colander for 15 minutes while you whisk up a simple dressing of lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, oil and salt. Rinse the cucumber slices, pat them dry with a dish towel, put them in a bowl with mint, shallots and chilies, and toss with with dressing. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the salad and serve.
How to remove the seeds from cucumbers
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and use a small demitasse spoon or the tip of a teaspoon to gently scoop out the seeds and pulp that run down the center of the cucumber. That’s all there is to it.
Here are a few tips for making Thai Cucumber Salad
- Cucumbers have a high water content which can result in a soggy salad or a diluted dressing. Removing the seeds helps a lot. Salting the cucumbers and leaving them in a colander for 15 minutes or so, pulls more water out of them, making them crisper and better able to absorb the tasty dressing.
- Thai cucumber salad can be kept in the fridge and enjoyed for several days after you make it, but is crispest and has its brightest flavors if eaten soon after being tossed with the dressing.
- To prepare this salad ahead of time, you can make the dressing up to 24 hours in advance. The cucumbers can be de-seeded, sliced, wrapped in a sheet of damp paper towels, stuffed into a ziplock baggie and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. This will keep them nice and crisp until you’re ready to toss everything together just before serving.
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Here’s the Thai cucumber salad recipe. If you try this recipe I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think.Print
Thai Cucumber Salad with Chili and Mint
Cool, crunchy, spicy Thai cucumber salad is a great summer side dish that goes especially well with anything grilled.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 20 min
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Thai
- 2 large English hothouse cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out with a spoon, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch crescents.
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil or canola (or any neutral flavored vegetable oil)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (nam pla), available at Asian markets and in the Asian section of many supermarkets.
- 1 tablespoons granulated sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (2–3 large shallots)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1–2 birds eye chili peppers, thinly sliced. (see notes below)
- 3–4 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted salted peanuts
- Place the sliced cucumbers in a mesh colander and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Leave them to drain, over the sink, for 15 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers under cold water, pat them dry with paper towels or a clean dish cloth, and place them in a large bowl.
- Put the dressing ingredients in a small bowl: lime juice (1/4 cup), oil (2 tablespoons), fish sauce (1 tablespoon), sugar (1 tablespoon) and salt (1/4 teaspoon). Whisk until the sugar and salt dissolve.
- Add shallots, chilies, and mint to the bowl with the cucumbers. Pour in the dressing and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt. Toss with chopped peanuts and serve immediately. See below for make-ahead strategies.
A note about Thai Chilies: There are many types of chili peppers at the market labeled “Thai Chilies.” Any of them will work well in this dish. Be warned that they add a LOT of heat, especially if you include the seeds. The seeds are pretty easy to remove using the tip of a sharp knife. I recommend wearing gloves when handling these chilies.
Make-ahead strategies: Once the cucumbers, mint and chilies are tossed with dressing, the salad is crispest and best if served right away. If you want to prepare the salad in advance, the dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Cucumbers can be peeled, de-seeded, sliced, wrapped in a sheet of damp paper towels, stuffed into a ziplock bag, and refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing and peanuts just before serving.
Keywords: fresh spicy minty cucumber salad