Asian Cucumber Salad


A viral TikTok recipe using fresh cucumber and a tasty Asian inspired marinade

Fresh cucumber cut like an accordion and marinated in a spicy, sesame soy dressing, this Asian cucumber salad recipe will have you hooked! Enjoy over cauliflower rice or on it's own!

Another recipe that went viral on social media is the Chinese Cucumber Salad. Just like the Jennifer Aniston salad, baked feta pasta and dalgona coffee, the marinated cucumber salad recipe blew up on TikTok.

a bowl of accordion cut cucumbers topped with sesames and red pepper next to a bowl of those and sliced cucumbers

Besides being unique, these viral TikTok recipes are so popular because they are simple to make. This Asian cucumber salad is no exception. It’s just cucumber mixed with an easy marinade made up of ingredients most of us already have in our pantries. The only thing special about this salad recipe is the way you cut the cucumbers.

The cucumbers (can use any type – Japanese cucumbers, Persian cucumbers, waxed) are cut at different angles to produce a slinky like vegetable! (Although cucumber is technically a fruit since it has seeds!)

Pair this unique cucumber side dish with sushi or a poke bowl for a complete meal!

How to make the Asian cucumber salad from Tiktok

  1. Cut the ends off of two cucumbers.
  2. Place one cucumber in between two chopsticks. The chopsticks will prevent you from slicing all the way through the cucumber.
  3. First cut down the length of the cucumber at a 45 degree angle.
  4. Flip cucumber over and cut straight or perpendicular to the cucumber. Place in a bowl.
  5. To the bowl, add in minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, toasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and sweetener.

a bowl of sliced cucumbers next to red pepper flakes and chopsticks

Key ingredients & swaps

  • Cucumber – You can use a regular waxy cucumber or a thin skinned cucumber like Persian, Turkish or English cucumber for this recipe. Small pickling cucumbers work too. English cucumbers have smaller seeds. Keep the skin on the cucumber since they are filled with nutrition like fiber and beta-carotene.
  • Garlic – Mince up fresh garlic, use garlic paste or jarred minced garlic.
  • Soy sauce – For a gluten free option, use tamari sauce. If you have an aversion to soy, use liquid aminos or coconut aminos instead.
  • Sesame oil – Use sesame oil or toasted sesame seed oil. This adds flavor to the Asian marinade.
  • Rice vinegar – To bright up the marinade, every good marinade needs an acid. Can substitute the rice wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  • Sesame seeds – Use toasted sesame seeds or untoasted sesames. Black sesame seeds would work too!
  • Red pepper flakes – Crushed red pepper flakes gives a hint of spice and heat to our salad.
  • Brown sugar substitute – For a hint of sweet, brown sugar substitute is used. Can also substitute with sugar free maple syrup.


Chinese Cucumber Salad Recipe Video

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Asian Cucumber Salad Ingredients

Asian Cucumber Salad Directions

  • Asian Cucumber Salad
  • holding a marinated tiktok cucumber salad with chopsticks


    This spicy Asian cucumber salad marinade is delicious as is but here are some extras that you can add in to make it even more special!

    • Roasted peanuts – For a crunch and Thai inspired flavor, add peanuts. Even a tablespoon of peanut butter would work.
    • Fish sauce – Adds umami flavor.
    • Lime juice – For a Thai inspired flavor, pairs perfectly with peanuts. Lime juice can be used in addition or substitution for rice vinegar.
    • Cilantro – Add chopped cilantro for more earthy flavor.
    • Ginger – Freshly grated ginger will add some Korean flavor.
    • Chili past or sriracha – To crank up the heat, add a dab of chili paste or sriracha sauce. Chili oil can be used as well.
    • Green onion – Finish this salad recipe with a sprinkle sliced green onions.


    green cucumber salad topped with sesames and red pepper flakes

    Storage information

    Store this easy cucumber salad in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Ideally 3-4 days. This salad is best on day 2 as it gives the Asian marinade time to seep into the cucumbers. This makes it an excellent salad to make ahead and meal prep.

    I do not recommend freezing this salad or cucumbers. Cucumbers are mostly made up of water so they don’t freeze and thaw ideally.

    Asian Cucumber Salad: FAQS

    Do I have to spiralize the cucumber?

    Not into the fancy Tiktok cucumber cutting trend? No problem. You can simply slice your cucumbers into coin shapes or half moon slices.

    How long do cucumbers last in the refrigerator?

    Cucumbers can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Remove any plastic wrapped around the cucumber or the plastic bag from the grocery store. Plastic can make the cucumber ripen faster.

    Is it okay to eat cucumber skin?

    Yes! The skin of a cucumber is loaded with fiber and Vitamin A.

    I don't own chopsticks. Can I still make this recipe?

    Absolutely! You don't need to use chopsticks to cut your cucumbers. You can use the handle of a spoon or two spatulas. Sliced cucumbers may be used as well. Or make a Chinese smashed cucumber salad by smashing the cucumbers.

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Asian Cucumber Salad

    Servings: 4

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 71
    Fat 4.9g
    Protein 2.2g
    Total Carbs 5.2g
    Net Carbs 4.2g

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