January 22, 2013

Cucumber Salad

Looking for a simple side dish that won't break your New Year's resolutions? This is it. It's just thinly sliced crisp cucumbers tossed with a yummy dressing and sprinkled with crunchy sesame seeds. It's that easy. The only trick is to keep the slices of cucumber as thin as possible so that they absorb the dressing. I have a mandoline, a really cool little piece of equipment that can slice anything as thin as you want it to be. I like to use it for this since it really speeds things up, but make sure you are very careful if you want to use one. If you don't have one, it's just as easy to use a knife to slice the cucumbers paper-thin.

The dressing is the perfect balance of sour, sweet, and salty. There is plenty of rice vinegar, which is acidic but not as sharp as you would expect vinegar to be. There's also a few spoonfuls of sugar to balance it out as well as some soy sauce for that salty savoriness that really makes the dish. I add sesame oil to highlight the flavor from the sesame seeds, which add additional crunch to the cucumbers. This dish is one of the easiest ones I've made, and it's well worth it.

2 lbs Cucumbers
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Rice Vinegar
2 T Soy Sauce
2 tsp Sesame Oil
2 T Sugar
1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds

Slice the cucumbers thinly; mandolines work well for this. Toss with the salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Squeeze gently to dry.

Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar. Toss the cucumbers with the dressing. Let sit for at least 1 hour. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving.

Serves 6-8
Recipe Adapted from Appetite for China


  1. Are those 2 different types of sesame seeds? Forgive my ignorance. I'm most familiar with white ones I see on bagels :)

  2. I did use two types of sesame seeds... there are black ones and white ones (the ones you usually see on bagels). There isn't too much of a difference; I just like the contrasting colors.