A Simple Cucumber Salad

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a simple cucumber salad

The story behind A Simple Cucumber Salad

When I’m making spicy Thai styled foods, like Sesame Crusted Yellowtail Tuna with Two Sauces, or Salmon with Thai Red Curry Sauce, I like to serve a simple cucumber salad with it.  The salad, like raita in Indian cooking,  helps cool down the heat of the curry, offering you a pause that refreshes.

And when I say it’s a Simple Cucumber Salad, I mean it, it’s simple.

Cucumbers, while in reality are a fruit, are considered by some to be a vegetable.  As a member of the gourd family (remember your pumpkin is also a fruit);  cucumbers have been cultivated since the middle ages. They are incredibly easy to grow and can be left to crawl on the ground, or trained to climb a trellis. All they need is some fairly decent soil, water, and sun.  Bees love cucumber flowers and happily pollinate your plants for you.

Cucumbers are divided into three categories, slicing, pickling and burp-less, but there are hundreds of varieties in each category.  For this recipe you could use any slicing or burp-less variety, I used a hothouse English variety (those long ones that come all wrapped up in plastic), but in the summer I use whatever I have growing in the garden.

I use my mandolin to slice my cucumbers, but a sharp knife will work as well.  I like the mandolin because it keeps all the slices exactly the same thinness, but a little variation isn’t going to really hurt anything.  If I have a red onion, as I did today, I like to add a little to the salad, but it’s not necessary.  Because I was serving this with the Sesame Crusted Yellow Tail, I did not sprinkle in the optional sesame seeds, that would have been sesame seed overload!  But otherwise, it’s a nice addition.

Use a gentle hand with the sesame seed oil as well. You want to have the ying/yang of sweet and sour and sesame seed oil is very powerful.  Very powerful indeed, so just a few drops to round out the acidity of the rice wine vinegar.  Adding the salt and sugar directly to the cucumber helps to soften them and helps release their juices, a desirable result.

If you are not making a spicy dish to serve this Simple Cucumber Salad with, then you could spice up the salad itself by mixing some chili garlic sauce in instead of the red pepper flakes.  Either way, this salad is super easy, and super low calorie and low fat, so enjoy it anytime.


a simple cucumber salad


A Simple Cucumber Salad


  • 1 English cucumber, (or other if desired) thinly sliced
  • 1/2 of a red onion, quartered and thinly sliced, (optional)
  • Salt, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon is where I start)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • Dash sesame seed oil
  • Dash red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, optional


Step 1

Toss the cucumber and red onion, if using, with the salt and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes then add the other ingredients. Mix well. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes for all the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust with salt and sugar as needed. Serve. See, simple!

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Cristina on December 6, 2013

    any variation of cucumber is fine with me, but had not had this one, quite tasty!

  2. posted by Jessica on January 30, 2014

    This looks so easy! I am putting it on my menu for next week! Thanks for sharing!

  3. posted by Elle on January 31, 2014

    English or european cucumbers as they call them in this neck of the woods work best for me Linda, less giant sized seeds, plus I’m used to them! This is definitely going on my lunch menu, it looks so light and tasty.

    • posted by LindySez on January 31, 2014

      We have a tendency here to just call them “hot house” cucumbers, but I know them as English cucumbers. I love their tiny seeds and that you can eat the skin without peeling, especially when they are thinly sliced like they are in this dish. Enjoy!

  4. posted by Cher on January 31, 2014

    This really looks great and as usual, I cannot wait to try it!


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Nutritional Info

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  • See, I said it was low fat and low calorie...

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