This Chinese cucumber salad features cool cucumbers the perfect foil to cool you down on hot days or to combat the heat from a curry.
We use both black and white sesame seeds in this salad the difference is that the white have their hulls removed while the black have their hulls intact.
How to Make This Salad
Preheat your oven to 1800C (3600F).
Line a baking tray and pour over a thin layer of your white sesame seeds on your tray.
Place in the middle section of your oven checking them every 5 minutes and shaking the tray so they will toast evenly then cook until golden brown (approximately 10-15 minutes) then transfer them to a cold plate to stop the cooking process.
Alternatively, you can place your sesame seeds in a hot frypan (use medium heat) and keep stirring them and once the sesame seeds start changing colour (they should be a light golden brown), immediately remove them from the stove and transfer to a cold plate to stop the cooking process.
Step 2 - Prepare Your Ingredients
Wash your cucumbers, trim the tops and bottoms then cut them in half lengthwise, deseed them using a teaspoon and then slice on the diagonal.
Transfer to a mixing bowl, salt and let stand for 5 minutes. The salt makes the cucumbers tastier and gets rid of excess water, which can dilute the dressing.
Wash your green onion, trim it and then slice on the diagonal, add to your cucumbers.
Wash and trim your chilli (it is up to you if you would like to remove the seeds) and cut into a fine dice then add to your cucumbers.
Step 3 - Assemble Your Salad
Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
Add the sesame seeds to your bowl with the cucumbers pour the vinaigrette over the salad.
Mix your salad until well combined, taste and adjust the seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange your Chinese cucumber salad on a serving platter, scatter with Szechuan peppercorns and serve.
Serving Suggestions 🍽
As an Asian-style salad, it works beautifully served with anything Asian such as Chinese, Japanese, Thai or Vietnamese food. You could also serve it with simple grilled or barbecued meats such as chicken, salmon or prawns.
The cool and refreshing cucumbers in this Chinese cucumber salad make it ideal to serve alongside spicy foods such as curries or hot stir-fries.
Tips and Questions
What's the Best Cucumber to Use?
- In this Chinese cucumber salad, both short or long cucumber varieties work just as well.
- The shorter varieties (Persian, Lebanese) are dense with hardly any seeds and have a fresh more intense flavour.
- The longer varieties (telegraph, continental, English or hothouse) are crunchier with quite a few watery seeds in the middle.
- It is entirely up to you which you prefer and in any case, we will be removing all the seeds as they contain a lot of moisture - we don’t want to water down the beautiful flavours in our vinaigrette!
The Difference Between White a Black Sesame Seeds?
- The toasted white sesame seeds add an intense sweet nutty taste while the black have a slightly bitter, earthier taste.
- Together they create a wonderful fusion of flavour as well as crunch.
Can I Make This Salad Ahead of Time?
- Yes, this salad can be made a few hours in advance. However, add the sesame seeds just before serving to maintain their crunch.
How Long Can I Store Leftovers?
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The salad is best enjoyed within 1-2 days.
What Should I Do if the Salad is Too Salty?
- It is always a good idea to taste your soy and fish sauce before adding it to your dressing as it varies from brand to brand.
- But, if the salad is too salty, you can balance it by adding a bit more rice vinegar and a touch of sugar to mellow the flavours.
Try some more of our cucumber salad recipes...
- 500 grams Lebanese cucumbers (approximately 3-4 medium)
- 1 green (spring) onion
- 2 tbsps sesame seeds (toasted)
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 long red chilli (finely diced)
- 3 tbsps MCT oil (or any other neutral oil)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tbsps lime juice
- 2 tbsps light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
- Wash your cucumbers, cut them in half, deseed them using a teaspoon and then slice on the diagonal. 1
- Wash your green onion, trim it and then slice on the diagonal, trim your chilli (it is up to you if you would like to remove the seeds) then finely dice your chilli. Transfer to your bowl with the cucumbers.
- Add all your vinaigrette ingredients to a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix until combined, taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Arrange the salad on a serving platter, scatter with Szechuan peppercorns and serve.
- You may like to salt your cucumbers, put them in a bowl with some salt and let stand for 5 minutes. The salt makes the cucumbers tastier and gets rid of excess water, which can dilute the dressing.