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Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

Enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavors of this authentic Thai Cucumber Salad. This salad combines the crisp texture of cucumber with the tang of rice vinegar and the rich flavor of peanuts to create a refreshing and delicious dish that's perfect for enjoying on a hot summer day.

Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe
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Photos of Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

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Most of these ingredients are quite common, but you may need to look for rice vinegar and fresh cilantro if they're not a staple in your pantry. Rice vinegar, a mild, slightly sweet vinegar, is essential for the tangy dressing. Fresh cilantro brings a distinct, aromatic flavor that complements the salad very well.

Key Ingredients for Thai Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers: A main ingredient known for its crisp texture and cooling properties.

Salt: Used to lightly cure the cucumbers, enhancing their flavor.

Red onion: Adds a sharp, spicy flavor that contrasts the cool cucumbers.

Rice vinegar: Gives the salad its characteristic tangy flavor.

Sugar: Balances the acidity of the vinegar.

Fresh cilantro: Provides a burst of fresh, aromatic flavor.

Peanuts: Adds a crunchy texture and rich flavor.

One reader, Andeee Billings says:

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This Thai cucumber salad recipe is a game-changer! The combination of crisp cucumbers, tangy rice vinegar, and the crunch of peanuts creates a burst of flavors and textures. It's refreshing, light, and perfect for a summer day. I highly recommend trying it out!

Andeee Billings

Mastering the Techniques for Thai Cucumber Salad

How to prepare cucumbers: Wash the cucumbers thoroughly and pat them dry. Then, slice off the ends and cut them into thin rounds or half-moons, depending on your preference.

How to chop cilantro: Rinse the cilantro under cold water and pat it dry. Remove the leaves from the stems and gather them into a tight bundle. Use a sharp knife to chop the cilantro leaves finely.

How to toast peanuts: Place the peanuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir them frequently until they are golden and fragrant, which should take about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn them, and transfer them to a plate to cool.

How To Make Thai Cucumber Salad

This cucumber salad is a Thai-inspired version made with peanuts, red onion, fresh cilantro, rice vinegar and a touch of sugar for a sweet and sour dish.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 1 minute
Refrigerate Time: 20 minutes
Total: 46 minutes



  • 1lbcucumbers,peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2tspsalt
  • ¼cupred onion,thinly sliced
  • ½cuprice vinegar
  • ¼cupsugar
  • ¼cupfresh cilantro,chopped
  • cuppeanuts,chopped


  1. Place the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle the salt over them.

  2. Toss to coat the cucumber slices in salt. Let sit 10 minutes.

  3. Use a paper towel to blot the cucumber slices dry.

  4. Place the rice vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir until sugar is dissolved.

  5. Place the cucumbers and red onion in a large bowl, then pour the rice vinegar mixture over the top.

  6. Add the cilantro to the cucumber mixture and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

  7. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top, then serve.


  • Calories: 143.95kcal
  • Fat: 6.13g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.81g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.98g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.93g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.56g
  • Fiber: 1.80g
  • Sugar: 15.39g
  • Protein: 4.01g
  • Sodium: 415.83mg
  • Calcium: 34.47mg
  • Potassium: 273.21mg
  • Iron: 0.93mg
  • Vitamin A: 9.04µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.19mg

Elevate Your Thai Cucumber Salad with This Technique Tip

When preparing this Thai cucumber salad, it's important to remember that the longer you allow the salad to marinate in the fridge, the more intense the flavors will become. The vinegar and sugar mixture will penetrate the cucumbers and red onion, giving them a tangy, sweet and sour flavor. However, be careful not to let it sit for too long, as the cucumbers can become too soft. Ideally, aim for a marinating time of around 2-3 hours for the perfect balance of flavor and crunch.

Streamline Your Thai Cucumber Salad Preparation

Prep ahead: Chop the cucumbers and onions in advance and store them in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Use a mandoline: Slice the cucumbers quickly and uniformly using a mandoline to save time and ensure even slices.

Double the recipe: Make a larger batch of the Thai cucumber salad and store the leftovers in the refrigerator for a quick and delicious side dish throughout the week.

Pre-crushed peanuts: Save time by using pre-crushed peanuts or peanut butter instead of crushing whole peanuts for the salad.

Quick pickling: Speed up the pickling process by using a vacuum sealer to infuse the flavors quickly into the cucumbers.

One-pot preparation: Combine the rice vinegar and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them together for a quicker and easier preparation process.

Substitute Ingredients For Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

  • cucumbers - Substitute with zucchini: Zucchini has a similar texture and mild flavor, making it a suitable replacement for cucumbers in salads.

  • rice vinegar - Substitute with white wine vinegar: White wine vinegar provides a slightly milder flavor compared to rice vinegar, but it still offers the necessary acidity for the salad dressing.

  • sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add sweetness to the salad while also contributing a subtle floral note, complementing the other flavors in the dish.

  • fresh cilantro - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can provide a similar fresh and herbaceous flavor to the salad, although it has a slightly different profile compared to cilantro.

  • peanuts - Substitute with cashews: Cashews offer a creamy texture and nutty flavor that can replace peanuts in the salad, adding a delightful crunch and richness.

Elevate Your Presentation of Thai Cucumber Salad

  1. Elevate the cucumber slices: Arrange the salted and dried cucumber slices in a circular pattern on the plate, creating a visually appealing base for the salad.

  2. Garnish with red onion petals: Thinly slice the red onion and separate the layers to create delicate, petal-like shapes. Place them strategically on top of the cucumber slices for an elegant touch.

  3. Drizzle with rice vinegar reduction: Use a squeeze bottle to create a beautiful drizzle of the rice vinegar reduction around the edges of the plate, adding a pop of flavor and a sophisticated presentation.

  4. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts: Generously sprinkle the crushed peanuts over the salad, adding a delightful crunch and a touch of rustic charm to the dish.

  5. Finish with a cilantro sprig: Place a small, vibrant cilantro sprig on top of the salad as a final garnish, adding a burst of color and a fresh, aromatic element to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Crafting the Perfect Thai Cucumber Salad

  • Cutting board: A flat surface for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Knife: Used for slicing, dicing, and chopping ingredients. Different types of knives can be used for specific tasks.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen tool with holes used for draining liquids from food, such as pasta or vegetables.
  • Microwave: An appliance used for heating and cooking food quickly.
  • Small bowl: Used for mixing and preparing small amounts of ingredients.
  • Large bowl: Used for mixing and tossing ingredients, especially in larger quantities.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Used for accurately measuring ingredients for recipes.
  • Paper towel: Used for blotting and drying ingredients, as well as cleaning up spills and messes.
  • Serving plate: A plate or platter used for presenting and serving the finished dish.
  • Refrigerator: Used for storing and chilling ingredients and prepared dishes.

Preserving the Freshness of Thai Cucumber Salad

  • To store leftover Thai cucumber salad, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. The flavors will continue to meld and intensify over time, making it even more delicious the next day.
  • If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, mix the cucumbers, red onion, and dressing together, but hold off on adding the cilantro and peanuts until just before serving to maintain their freshness and crunch.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the Thai cucumber salad, but keep in mind that the texture of the cucumbers may change slightly upon thawing. To freeze:
    1. Place the prepared salad (without the cilantro and peanuts) in a freezer-safe container, leaving some headspace for expansion.
    2. Seal the container tightly and label it with the date.
    3. Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • When ready to serve the frozen salad, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Drain any excess liquid, then add freshly chopped cilantro and peanuts before serving.
  • If you find that the thawed cucumbers are too soft for your liking, you can use them as a base for a refreshing cold soup or blend them into a smoothie for a unique twist on the original dish.

Discover an Intriguing Fact About Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai cucumber salad is a popular side dish in Thailand and is often served with spicy main courses to help cool the palate.

Budget-Friendly Thai Cucumber Salad for Home Cooks

This Thai cucumber salad recipe is highly cost-effective, requiring minimal ingredients that are affordable and readily available. The cucumbers and red onions are budget-friendly, while the rice vinegar, sugar, and peanuts are pantry staples. The overall cost for a household of 4 people is approximately $5.50, making it an economical choice. The refreshing flavors and vibrant presentation earn this recipe a solid 9 out of 10. It's a perfect balance of tangy, sweet, and crunchy, making it a delightful addition to any meal.

Is This Thai Cucumber Salad Healthy?

The Thai cucumber salad recipe is relatively healthy, offering a refreshing and light side dish. Here are some positive aspects:

  • Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content, making them a hydrating and weight-friendly choice
  • Red onions provide a source of antioxidants and may help lower blood sugar levels
  • Cilantro is rich in vitamins A and K, and may aid in digestion and detoxification
  • Peanuts offer healthy fats, protein, and various vitamins and minerals

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved:

  • The added sugar contributes to the overall calorie count and may not be necessary for those watching their sugar intake
  • The salt content could be reduced to make the dish more suitable for individuals with high blood pressure or salt sensitivity

To make this Thai cucumber salad even healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of sugar used in the dressing or replace it with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup
  • Use less salt when preparing the cucumbers, and opt for a low-sodium variety of peanuts
  • Add more colorful vegetables to the salad, such as bell peppers or carrots, to increase the nutrient density
  • Include a lean protein source, like grilled chicken or tofu, to make the salad a more well-rounded meal
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, such as mint or chili flakes, to enhance the flavor without relying on salt or sugar

Editor's Take on the Delightful Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe

This Thai cucumber salad recipe offers a delightful balance of flavors and textures. The combination of crisp cucumbers, tangy rice vinegar, and sweet sugar creates a refreshing base, while the addition of red onion and cilantro adds depth and complexity. The final touch of crunchy peanuts provides a satisfying contrast. The simple preparation allows the flavors to meld beautifully, making it a perfect side dish for any meal. Enjoy the vibrant and zesty flavors of this Thai cucumber salad!

Enhance Your Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Pineapple with Chili Lime Glaze: Grill the pineapple slices and brush with a mixture of chili and lime for a sweet and spicy side dish.
Coconut Curry Soup: Create a creamy and flavorful coconut curry soup with a variety of vegetables and your choice of protein for a comforting accompaniment to the Thai cucumber salad.
Mango Sticky Rice: Prepare a traditional Thai dessert of sweet sticky rice topped with ripe mango slices for a refreshing and indulgent ending to your meal.

Explore Delicious Alternatives to Thai Cucumber Salad

Spicy Mango Salsa: Combine diced mango, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and spicy salsa to serve with tortilla chips or grilled fish.
Coconut Curry Soup: Simmer coconut milk, curry paste, vegetables, and your choice of protein for a creamy and flavorful soup that's perfect for a cozy night in.
Grilled Peach Salad: Grill peach halves and toss with mixed greens, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a sweet and savory summer salad that's bursting with flavor.
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake: Whip up a creamy lemon-infused cheesecake batter, swirl in fresh blueberries, and bake for a decadent dessert that's sure to impress your guests.
Stuffed Bell Peppers: Stuff bell peppers with a mixture of ground meat, rice, tomatoes, and spices, then bake until tender for a hearty and satisfying meal.

Perfect Pairings: Main Courses and Desserts for Thai Cucumber Salad

Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish with tender chicken and rich Alfredo sauce. Pair it with your favorite pasta for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Whip up a quick and flavorful stir fry with tender beef and a colorful array of vegetables. Toss everything in a savory sauce for a delicious and nutritious dinner option.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth and creamy texture will melt in your mouth, leaving you craving for more.
Lemon Tart: Savor the tangy and refreshing flavor of a lemon tart, with a buttery and flaky crust that perfectly complements the zesty lemon filling. Each bite is a burst of citrusy goodness that will brighten up your day.

Why trust this Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted favorite, crafted by a seasoned chef with a passion for Thai cuisine. The use of rice vinegar and sugar creates a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors, while the addition of fresh cilantro adds a burst of freshness. The cucumbers are carefully salted to draw out excess moisture, ensuring a crisp texture. The final touch of peanuts adds a delightful crunch. Trust in the expertise behind this recipe to deliver an authentic and delicious Thai cucumber salad experience.

Share your thoughts on this Thai Cucumber Salad Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to enhance the flavors even more!
What type of cucumbers should I use for this salad?
You can use English cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, or regular cucumbers for this salad. Just make sure to slice them thinly and remove any large seeds if present.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this salad ahead of time. In fact, it's best to let the flavors marinate in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, but it can be made up to 24 hours in advance.
Can I substitute the peanuts with a different nut?
Absolutely! If you have a peanut allergy or prefer a different nut, you can easily substitute the peanuts with cashews, almonds, or even toasted sesame seeds for added crunch and flavor.
Is there a way to make this salad less sweet?
If you prefer a less sweet salad, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the dressing or use a natural sweetener like honey or agave nectar instead.
Can I add some spice to this salad?
Of course! If you like a little heat, you can add some thinly sliced red chili peppers or a dash of chili flakes to the salad for a spicy kick. Adjust the amount to your preference.

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