Big Asian flavours come together in this easy Thai cucumber salad. Just the thing when you need a quick but delicious side.
Thai cucumber salad works with any Asian inspired grilled or fried chicken. Or ribs. Thai style pork ribs. Perfect for those late summer or early fall backyard BBQs.
It’s great any time of year really. Cucumbers are amazing fresh from the field. But they are still pretty good all year round. Wish everything was like that. Imagine a decent tomato in February. That would be incredible.
The ingredients make this Thai cucumber salad
I don’t think this salad is actually Thai. Not the Thai cucumber salad everyone is making anyway.
Closest thing I’ve seen is simple quick pickled cucumber. That is Thai. Rice wine vinegar. Water. Salt. Sugar. Cucumber. Heat everything up to make a syrup. Add the cucumbers. Let it sit. Pickled cucumber. Authentic.
This is not that dish. This is Thai inspired really. A cucumber salad that uses Thai ingredients. I’m going to call that Thai cucumber salad. But it isn’t really.
What it is is tasty. Which is good enough for me. Fire from Thai red chilies. Tang from lime. Complexity from fish sauce. A bit of sugar to bring it all together. Hot. Sour. Salty. Sweet. The calling cards of Southeast Asia.
You don’t have to be too precise
This is a salad. Not a cake. So you can play with the quantities. I would keep the fish sauce and lime juice about the same. That’s the vinaigrette. Defines the dish.
But the rest is really up to you. A handful of cilantro. Sliced shallots to taste. Lots of peanuts. Less peanuts. Coarsely chopped. Or whole.
More chilies. Or no chilies. Or sambal oelek. Black pepper. More sugar. Less sugar. Whatever you feel like. I’d be careful about more garlic though.
It’s great in a grazing menu
I like this with anything grilled. I already said that. But my other favourite way to serve it is as part of a grazing menu. Makes great party food.
Everybody loves it so it’s almost a no brainer. Pick all your favourite Asian bites and have a party. You can make it ahead. Not a week before but hours are OK. It gets better if it sits a while anyway.
Think satay. And fresh spring rolls. Or fried spring rolls. Or both. Maybe some Vietnamese bun cha style meatballs. These crazy delicious Asian grilled chicken wings. All good.
If it’s more of a sit down meal think cool Vietnamese noodles. Bun thit nyong is good. Lemongrass chicken noodle salad. Pad Thai. Look around glebekitchen. There’s lots of dishes that would pair beautifully.
Pick your favourites and add Thai cucumber salad. Or grill up some chicken. It just works.
thai cucumber salad
- 2 english cucumbers sliced thinly
- 2 large shallots sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp palm sugar jaggery or even white sugar works
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 2 thai red chilies sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts
- Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and sugar. Stir to combine. This is your dressing.
- Cut the cucumber in half and slice thinly.
- Combine the cucumber, dressing, red chilies and cilantro.
- Garnish with peanuts.
- Serve or refrigerate a few hours if needed.