This Thai Cucumber Salad is so quick and easy, you will be putting it on repeat in no time! Not only is it a perfect side dish to all your favourite Thai dishes but it goes with anything that needs a crunchy and refreshing salad by its side.
As soon as I published my Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry recipe I knew I had to write a recipe for this salad. It's always been our favourite accompaniment to the stir fry as well as many other dishes. Not only does it go with many Thai dishes but would also pair perfectly with recipes like this Sheet Pan Curried Chicken and Vegetables. The dressing is more of a "pickle" than a salad dressing which makes it completely addictive!
Here's what you will need to make this recipe. As you can see, you don't need much! For quantities see the recipe card below.
🔪How to make it
This recipe comes together in minutes! I like to use a mandoline slicer to get the cucumber and onions nice and thin. If you don't have one a sharp chef's knife will do the trick! Once the vegetables are sliced everything gets tossed together in a bowl and voila, done! The final step is to let it rest in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. This is where the "pickling" happens. Everything softens, the onions become sweeter, and all the ingredients get to know each other.
- Red onion - you can use white or sweet onion instead of red.
- Red pepper - orange or yellow peppers work as well. For some heat add a sliced jalapeno or bird's eye chilli pepper.
- Fish sauce - use 1 teaspoon of soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of fish sauce.
- Sugar - honey can be used instead of sugar.
- Rice vinegar - white vinegar is the best substitute for rice vinegar. White wine vinegar or lime juice also work but the flavour will be different. If using seasoned rice vinegar reduce the salt and sugar by half and season to taste.
Make it spicy - adding thinly sliced bird's eye chilis, jalapeno peppers, or crushed red chili flakes will add some heat to this salad.
Delux - level up this salad by adding extra ingredients like chopped tomatoes, roasted peanuts, ginger, and/or garlic.
This salad will keep well for 3 days. It will last up to 5 days but will lose it's crunch.
Mandoline Slicer - My favourite mandoline slicer, and the one used most by professional chefs, is this Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer (affiliate link).
Chef's Knife - My most used, and favourite, knife is the Global Santoku Fluted Knife (affiliate link).
Letting any salad, that doesn't contain leafy greens, "marinate" in its dressing before serving allows all the ingredients to get to know one another and will enhance the flavour.
This salad goes with so many things! My top picks are below:
- Thai Style Chicken Stir Fry
- Thai Basil Chicken Stir Fry
- Easy Tempeh Curry with Spiced Chickpeas
- Crispy Baked Buffalo Wings
Tried this recipe? I would love it if you could leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and/or a comment below. You can also follow me on social media here on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
Easy Thai Style Cucumber Salad
- 1 12" English cucumber, thinly sliced
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup red pepper, thinly sliced. About ⅓ of a pepper
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar, unseasoned
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cilantro leaves, rinced and dried.
- Use a mandolin slicer or a sharp chefs knife to thinly slice the vegetables. Place in a large bowl.
- Add the rice vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, and salt. Stir well to combine everything. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to marinate.
- Serve garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.
I love this recipe! It's easy and so refreshing. I don't normally like raw onions because they leave a taste in my mouth for hours..I substituted sweet onions and this seemed great. Doing the Livy method and this is great for my veg AND veg snack. Threw in some leafy greens when having for lunch. I will definitely make this again.
I'm so happy you enjoyed the salad! White onion was a great choice! 👌
elana fleischmann says
can you use splenda instead of sugar?
Hi Elana! You can but I'm unsure of the quantity although I know it's much sweeter than sugar so I would start with maybe half the amount and adjust as needed.
Bev. McMurrich says
I have not made the salad yet, but still have a question.
Does Rice vinegar have a shelf life. If so how long.
Hi Bev! If there isn't an expiration date on it then it's fine. I have never had vinegar go bad after a long time in the cupboard. But whenever in doubt toss it out. Hope you try the salad!
Hi Andrea. Love all your recipes and I’m excited to make this one for company this weekend. Just wondered how far in advance I could make it and still keep the crunch.
It will stay crunchy for quite some time but I would say the ideal window would be about 3 hours. Hope you enjoy it!
Lisa Vollmar says
Such a refreshing summer salad. Love it!!!
Thanks so much!