This Vietnamese cucumber salad is so fresh and tasty, an absolute favourite of mine. It comes together in under 10 minutes and is a delicious side.
I had it for the first time in a friend’s home and absolutely loved its amazing flavours and textures. It is a simple enough salad with basic ingredients, but it tastes really good.
There is something very soothing about cucumber salads. They are absolutely refreshing. This one has heat, tart notes, umami flavour and zing.
The crunch of toasted peanuts is a nice contrast here.
This basic cucumber, tomato salad and avocado cucumber salad are regulars in my home. So are these cucumber radish salad, Sumac cucumber salad, cabbage and carrot salad, sprouted lentil salad and chickpea cucumber salad.
Why You’ll Love this Salad
Super easy and quick: This salad is very quick and easy to make. Perfect for newbies.
Easy ingredients: You will have most of these ingredients easily available in your pantry.
Variations are also provided.
Cucumbers: A good way to use up cucumbers at home. I have used 1 lb. or about 5 Persian cucumbers.
Scallions: A couple of finely chopped scallions or green onions are used here.
Herbs: Fresh mint and cilantro enhance the freshness of this salad.
Chili: 1 small green chili or jalapeño finely sliced is used here for a bit of heat.
Toasted Peanuts: Toasted peanuts add a wonderful crunch and nuttiness to the salad.
For the Dressing
Vegan Fish Sauce: A key element in Vietnamese cuisine, vegan fish sauce adds a deep savory umami flavour here.
Sugar, salt and pepper: Sugar, salt and pepper are the basic seasonings used.
Sesame Oil: Adds a nice nutty taste to the salad.
Garlic: Finely minced garlic is my favourite in salads for its taste.
Rice Vinegar: 2 tablespoon of rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar is used for added taste and acidity.
1. This salad uses vegan fish sauce or tamari in the recipe.
You can use regular fish sauce in case you are not vegan.
You can also use light soy sauce if that is readily available.
2. You can use any other toasted nuts or seeds of choice like pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or walnuts.
Add protein of choice to make it a filling main.
3. You can use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in place of rice vinegar in the recipe.
4. You may use other vegetables like sliced carrots, bell peppers or radishes in the salad.
1. Light meal: Add any protein of choice to make a light low carb meal. You can add tofu, chicken or seafood here.
2. Take to work, picnics or potlucks: Just take the dressing and cut veggies separately. Assemble and voila. Just perfect to carry along.
3. In sandwiches or wraps: This salad tastes great in a sandwich or wrap. Combine with mayo and protein of choice.
4. Side: This salad works as a wonderful side with any meal.
5. With rice or noodles: These taste great as a side with fried rice or noodles.
English cucumbers and Persian cucumbers are both good here.
Yes, you can do the prep work especially chopping ahead of time. It’s best to dress the salad closer to serving time to maintain the crispness of the cucumber and the freshness of the herbs.
The traditional recipe includes a bit of chili for heat, but you can skip the chili if you want it milder.
This salad is best consumed fresh, but if you have leftovers, they can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
It may lose its crunch but will still taste good.
Wash cucumbers and dry them. Slice cucumbers into thin round slices or half moons.
If your cucumbers have thicker peel, then peel them before slicing.
Finely slice the scallions and chop cilantro and mint leaves.
Toast peanuts lightly and keep aside.
Take cucumbers in a bowl. Add scallions, mint and cilantro.
To prepare the dressing mix together rice vinegar, vegan fish sauce, crushed garlic, sesame oil, thinly sliced red chilli, salt and pepper.
Mix well to combine.
Pour the dressing on top of the vegetables and toss.
Top with crunchy peanuts. Serve immediately.
1. Choosing Fresh produce: Choose fresh cucumber for a fresh tasting salad.
2.Balancing the Dressing: The dressing is all about balance. If you find the dressing too salty, add more lime juice or a bit of sugar.
If it's too tangy, add a bit more vegan fish sauce or sugar. Taste and adjust until you find the perfect harmony of flavors.
Skip chilli if you do not like heat in your salad.
You can skip vegan fish sauce and use soy sauce in its place.
3. Serving Immediately: To maintain the salad's freshness and crunch, it's best to serve it immediately after dressing.
If you're preparing the salad in advance, keep the dressing separate and combine just before serving.
Here's the recipe card:
📖 Recipe Card
Vietnamese Cucumber Salad
- Wash cucumbers and dry them. Slice cucumbers into thin round slices or half moons.
- If your cucumbers have thicker peel, then peel them before slicing.
- Finely slice the scallions and chop cilantro and mint leaves.
- Toast peanuts lightly and keep aside.
- Take cucumbers in a bowl. Add scallions mint and cilantro.
- To prepare the dressing mix together rice vinegar, vegan fish sauce, crushed garlic, sesame oil, thinly sliced red chilli, salt and pepper.
- Mix well to combine.
- Pour the dressing on top of the vegetables and toss.
- Top with crunchy peanuts. Serve immediately.