This Healthy Cucumber Salad is wonderfully cool, refreshing, and super easy to make yet looks elegant enough to serve at your next Asian banquet or dinner party.
The citrus tones from the Szechuan pepper pair beautifully with the lime, coriander (cilantro) and cucumber in this salad.
This salad is keto and vegetarian and can be made paleo and vegan by swapping out the soy sauce for coconut aminos.
What are Szechuan Peppercorns?
This spice originates from China’s Szechuan region hence its name. it is not like other peppers in that it has a lemony taste and gives a slight tingling sensation on your tongue and it does not have the heat that black or white peppers do.
If you are unable to find Szechuan peppers just combine one part black peppercorns to one part coriander seeds and slightly crush them to provide a similar flavour profile that the Szechuan pepper would provide.
the best Lettuce to Use for Healthy cucumber Salad
I used a red oak leaf lettuce for the base of this salad to contrast with the green cucumber but also because of its buttery texture and a mellow, earthy yet slightly sweet flavour.
You can use any soft leaf lettuce for this salad such as butter lettuce, Boston or Bibb lettuce, coral lettuce or little gem lettuce.
what cucumbers should I use?
It is important to use small tender cucumbers for their sweetness, crunch and because they don’t have many seeds.
I used small Lebanese cucumbers but Persian cucumbers, baby cucumbers, English cucumbers or qukes are just ideal for this salad with their sweet flavour and cool crunch.
1PREP YOUR VEG
Cut the roots off your red oak lettuce, wash carefully under cold running water and either pat dry or spin dry in a salad spinner. Tear the lettuce leaves into quarters so that they are in manageable pieces.
Wash the cucumbers and trim the tops and ends, then using a y-peeler start from the top, of your cucumber and slide down the cucumber to make cucumber ribbons.
2SHAKE UP DRESSING
Add all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified. Place it in a small bowl or sauceboat so that you can pour over the salad just before serving.
Place the red oak lettuce on a salad platter, arrange the cucumber ribbons on top, season with salt, scatter the chopped coriander and Szechuan peppercorns on top.
I like to serve this salad with the dressing on the side then pour it over the salad at the last minute so that the soft lettuce leaves do not become soggy and the cucumber retains its crunch.
This quick salad recipe is so versatile and reliable that you can make it for barbecues, family dinners, dinner parties or curry nights.
A hot weather recipe that helps you to stay cool on hot summer days or a salad to beat the heat from hot spicy food such as a hot curry or Piri Piri chicken, we served ours with pepper-crusted beef fillet.
Need some more Healthy Cucumber Salad recipes?
(Times are an estimate and will depend on your skill level)
- Salad Spinner
- Vegetable or Y-Peeler
- 1 red oak leaf lettuce (small)
- 300 grams Lebanese cucumbers (approximately 2 medium)
- ¼ cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns (slightly crushed)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tbsps light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns (slightly crushed)
- Cut off the core from your lettuce, wash and pat dry with a towel or use a salad spinner to remove excess water, arrange on a salad platter.
- Wash the cucumbers and remove the tops and ends, then use a vegetable or y-peeler to slice into ribbons.
- Arrange the cucumber ribbons on top of the lettuce, season with salt and pepper, scatter the coriander and Szechuan peppercorns on top.
- Add all the vinaigrette ingredients in a glass and shake until emulsified.
- Either pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately or place it in a sauceboat to serve on the side.