Spicy Cucumber Salad

This Spicy Cucumber Salad is perfect for anyone who thinks vegetables are boring.

This quick and easy salad delivers exotic flavor, and can be a refreshing complement to any protein you may be serving.

Cucumbers in and of themselves may seem like a boring vegetable, but they’re actually very healthy for you. They have a high natural water content, which makes them very hydrating. Perfect for those hot summer months!

Cucumbers are also high in vitamin K, which we need for healthy bones. In addition, cucumbers contain other phytonutrients that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

  • spicy cucumber salad
  • spicy cucumber salad monica spoelstra metz
  • spicy cucumber salad monica spoelstra metz

Serves 4 as a starter or side


  • 4 pickling cucumbers or other small cucumbers, sliced into 1/2-inch coins
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons untoasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger (I use a microplane)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean coarse red pepper powder); add more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon tamari (wheat free soy sauce) or vegan “fish sauce”
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • Garnish ideas: sliced scallion, toasted sesame seeds, gomasio (Japanese spice blend from the international foods aisle)


  • Step 1

    Grab a colander and line it with a clean kitchen towel. Add the sliced cucumbers, then toss with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. Then, rinse the cucumbers and drain well. Blot with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

  • Step 2

    Add the cucumbers to a large bowl, along with the remaining ingredients. Mix gently with a rubber spatula, then set aside at room temperature for about an hour to let the flavors meld. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

    Serve at room temperature, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This salad is best eaten day-of if you enjoy your cucumbers more on the crisp side.