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Thai Cucumber Salad with Chili and Mint

Thai cucumber salad with sliced red chili peppers, chopped mint leaves and chopped peanuts, in a white bowl on a pin-striped black and white dish towel with 3 forks

5 from 1 reviews

Cool, crunchy, spicy Thai cucumber salad is a great summer side dish that goes especially well with anything grilled.

Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

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