Asian Cucumber Salad Recipe (Din Tai Fung-Inspired)
I’ll take my Asian Cucumber Salad Din Tai Fung style anytime of the year Thanks! Crunchy refreshing Chinese cucumber salad recipe with a garlicky and tangy honey chili vinaigrette literally goes well with everything! This Chinese style cucumber salad is super simple and addictive, and is just the dish to keep you cool all summer long!
Asian Cucumber Salad with Honey Chili Vinaigrette
Cucumber is probably one of my favorite vegetables in summer months. It’s a super versatile vegetable that pairs literally with any salad dressings. I’ve used it in many of my recipes – from Chinese smashed cucumber salad and Japanese potato salad to Chinese stir-fry dish – Moo shu chicken.
Today’s Asian-style cucumber salad is inspired by Din Tai Fung. What makes this dish so good is a terrific honey garlic vinaigrette which you can make it spicy or not spicy to the juicy, crisp cucumber.
What you need for Asian easy cucumber salad recipe
- Persian or mini cucumbers
- Coarse sea salt
Honey Chili Garlic Vinaigrette – Asian Cucumber Salad Dressing:
- Rice vinegar
- Honey or keto honey (product link in recipe card)
- Toasted sesame oil
- Garlic chili sauce, or store-bought Sichuan chili oil
What type of cucumbers to use
I recommend using Persian cucumbers, Japanese cucumbers, or Mini cucumbers. Persian cucumbers are small, have thin skin, and are nearly seedless. They are super crunchy, snappy, a little sweet, and less watery. Because the skin is thin you don’t need to peel it.
Asian Cucumber Substitute
If you can’t find Asian cucumbers, the next best substitute is English cucumbers. English cucumber also has thin skin so you don’t need to peel it but it tastes less sweet and a bit more watery so make sure you block the water well with a paper towel, following the instructions below.
How to make Chinese Cucumber Salad
- Salt: Dice the cucumbers to ½-inch thick cylinder shape pieces. Toss with salt and let rest for 30-45 minutes.
- Dressing: Combine the salad dressing in a bowl.
- Rinse: Rinse the cucumbers to remove the salt.
- Dry: Pat dry the cucumbers with a clean towel.
- Combine: Pour the dressing over the cucumber. Toss well and serve!
Why need to salt the cucumbers
For this Asian cucumber salad recipe, the salt does two things –
- It draws water from the cucumbers and therefore they remain crunchy
- Salt seasons the cucumbers and therefore they are tastier.
How long does the cucumber salad keep in the fridge
If the cucumbers are mixed with the dressing, I recommend finishing it the next day.
How to make ahead
If the cucumbers haven’t mixed with the dressing and are patted dry after salting, you can store them in a container, lined with clean paper towels in the fridge for 2 days. Just toss them with the dressing before serving. This is the best way to make ahead Chinese cucumber salad!
What to serve with Asian Cucumber Salad Recipe
To keep it cool and easy, here are some great ideas – Shirataki cold noodles with paleo “peanut” sauce, Thai “peanut sauce” with cucumber noodles, Low carb kimchi pancake, Easy bang bang shrimp, crispy rice paper dumplings, or Honey sriracha chicken. Browse more of my paleo appetizer recipes.
More Asian Salad Recipes
- Keto shrimp avocado salad
- Japanese cucumber salad!
- Mandarin orange salad with chicken
- Asian coleslaw
- Mung bean sprouts salad
- Gomaae Japanese Spinach Salad
- Bok choy salad
- Crispy chow mein noodle salad
- Chinese chicken salad
- Chinese smashed cucumber salad
- More Paleo Salad Recipes
- 60+ Whole30 vegan vegetarian recipes
Asian Cucumber Salad with Honey Chili Garlic Vinaigrette
- 12 oz. Persian cucumbers, about 6- 7 mini cucumbers
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
For the honey chili garlic vinaigrette:
- 2.5 tbsp rice vinegar
- 0.3 oz garlic, grated
- 2 tbsp keto honey, or 1.5 tbsp regular honey
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1-1.5 tsp Garlic chili sauce, optional
- Dice the cucumbers to ½-inch thick cylinder shape pieces. In a large mixing bowl, toss with salt and let rest for 30-45 minutes.
- In the meantime, combine the salad dressing in a bowl. It should taste garlicky, tangy, and a little sweet. Store it in the fridge.
- Rinse the cucumbers 2-3 times to remove the salt. The cucumbers should taste a little salty but not too salty.
- Pat dry the cucumbers with a clean towel.
- Place them in a large serving plate and stack the extras on top to make a little tower.
- Pour the dressing over the cucumber. Toss well and serve immediately!
- How long does the salad keep in the fridge?
If the cucumbers are mixed with the dressing, I recommend finishing it the next day.
- How to make ahead –
If the cucumbers 1) haven’t mixed with the dressing and 2) are patted dry after salting, you can store them in a container, lined with clean paper towels in the fridge for 2 days. Just toss them with the dressing before serving. This is the best way to make ahead Chinese cucumber salad!
The cucumbers will continue to leak water after you pat them dry so only combine them with the dressing before serving.
- The total prep time does not include rest time to salt the cucumbers.
- The nutritional label is estimated with keto honey.
- You can also use store-bought chili oil. This is the brand I recommend.
Holy moly that was SOOOOOOO full of flavor (umami!!) and so ridiculously easy to make! I had extra sauce (didn’t have enough cucumbers) and so glad I did because I coated my steak and plantains in it 😅😅 incredible, seriously will be making again and again!
So delicious and perfect for hot summer days! The cucumber salad is one of my favorites from Din Tai Fung, and now I can make it at home anytime. Thanks for a great recipe!
Delicious. I didn’t have chili oil, so I used chili paste. My husband and I loved it and definitely make again.
Everything this woman makes is gold! If it wasn’t for her recipes I couldn’t keep up with my paleo lifestyle! This recipe is so easy and versatile. I often times add toasted garlic 🧄.
Thank you so much! I appreciate it! 😀
This salad is DELICIOUS . . . the vinaigrette makes it extra special! A side dish that is now in my frequent rotation!
This is such a good twist on the typical (i.e. American) cucumber salad I grew up eating. And it’s so easy too!
This is so good, especially with the chili oil. One of the best cucumber salads I’ve ever had!
Another slam dunk from ChihYu – I absolutely LOVE this dish! My daughter and I are both big fans of ChihYu’s recipes, and she made this a few times when we visited her recently. Since returning home, the dish has been on rotation. So crispy, perfectly seasoned, and just so darn delicious I could eat an entire bowl!
Lovely! So great to hear from you again, Christine!
I love love this cucumber salad! I’m a cucumber lover so this is so perfect for me. Plus so quick and easy to make! Full of umami and yet so light and refreshing. I’m addicted to this dressing. I’m definitely going to make this again and again and even have an extra batch of the dressing to keep handy. Oh I did add a bit of Korean hot pepper flakes for that extra kick 🙂
Thank you for sharing Chihyu!
That’s awesome. What a great idea!
I am on the AIP diet so I used apple cider vinegar and raw honey and my family absolutely loved it! I made it for our Asian themed Christmas Eve dinner as one of the salads and I will definitely be making this again..!
Thank you for sharing, Gloria! Love it!
Legit have made this daily over the last week! It’s so delicious and the perfect snack on a hot day! Recipe is easy to follow and can modify how you like (I’m team extra vinegar)
Give it a try!
These cucumbers are so full of flavor. The sweet and tangy with the crunch was an awesome combination!
This recipe was soooo easy to make and I’m really happy I tried it! I’m always craving the Din Tai Fung cucumber salad, and now I know I can make something similar at home anytime that I want. It’s delicious and very refreshing – I just need to get some chili oil!!!
This side dish was so simple & easy to make but the flavors & texture were insane. Loved the crunch, spice and tasted so authentic!
I just planted 3 cucumber plants today! I so hope I don’t kill them. Then I can make this delicious recipe again and again!
Refreshing, spicy and sweet – this is like my perfect salad! Thanks!
Everything about this salad is perfect! Crunchy, spicy, sweet and so delicious!
This is SUCH a delicious salad!! Perfect for my mom’s 80th birthday party with BBQed steaks, all so easy but still so special. I wouldn’t have known to salt the cucumbers, so that’s a great step and tip!
Such a refreshing and crunchy salad! I love the spiciness.