Chinese cucumber salad is one of my favorite ways to eat cucumbers.
There are two popular Chinese cucumber salad dishes. One is a savory spicy version and the other is sweet and sour. I prefer the savory spicy version.
Crisp cucumbers are flavored in a harmony of sauces including rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and chili flakes. The taste is quite addicting and I can never stop eating until the bowl is empty.
It’s a staple appetizer at many Chinese restaurants and one that I make quite often whenever I see Persian or Kirby cucumbers on sale. You can use the larger cucumbers as well, but the smaller ones are preferred because of their crunchy texture.
The dish is super easy to put together. You slice your cucumbers, add in the sauces, toss, taste, and it’s ready to go.
Chinese Spicy Cucumber Salad
4 Persian cucumbers
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
~ 1 tbsp rice vinegar
~ 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
~ 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
~ 1 tbsp light soy sauce
~ 1/2 tbsp chili paste
~ 1/2 tbsp red chili flakes
1. Cut the cucumbers in half. Then slice each half into quarters, lengthwise. If you have time, place the cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle salt over them. Let them sit for about 30 minutes, to let the salt draw out water from the cucumbers, which you then drain before adding your sauce ingredients. If you don't have time, you can skip this step. The end result will be a little more watery and a little less crunchy, but still very good.
2. Next, add in all the remaining ingredients. Please remember that each one is just an estimate, you should start with what is written and toss the cucumbers, then taste. Add whatever you think is needed after tasting. You can eat right away or let the cucumbers sit in the fridge to further develop the flavors.