Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad

If you’re looking for a quick and flavorful side dish to pair with your meals, my Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad recipe is your answer! This easy-to-make dish features crisp cucumbers tossed in a tangy, garlicky sauce with a hint of spice from togarashi. It’s refreshing, delicious, and pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes. Keep reading to discover how simple it is to whip up this delightful salad!

Spicy garlic cucumber salad served in a white bowl with pair of chopsticks.

Why I Love This Recipe

What I love about my cucumber salad recipe is its refreshing and delicious taste, coupled with its simplicity and versatility! My recipe is a delightful take on the traditional Chinese smashed cucumbers that is served refreshingly chilled just like my popular Japanese Cucumber Salad and Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad recipes!

Made by slicing or smashing cucumbers and marinating them in the fridge for a short time to allow the cucumbers to soak up all the flavor just like in my Japanese Spinach Salad, this chilled side dish offers a crunchy, refreshing bite with a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and spicy notes!

It’s ideal for anyone seeking an easy-to-make vegetable side that pairs effortlessly with various meals. Trust me, you’ll want to whip up a batch of this salad right now to experience its incredible flavors!



  • Cucumber – Persian cucumber, Japanese cucumber, English cucumber, or any type of firm, crunchy cucumber.
  • Sweetener – use your preferred sweetener.
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Rice VinegarRice Vinegar distilled from rice used in Asian cuisine. Can sub with distilled white vinegar.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – 100% Toasted Sesame Oil that should have a dark brown color.  
  • Garlic – fresh garlic minced.
  • Togarashi (red pepper)Togarashi Japanese chili pepper blend found in most Asian or Japanese supermarkets. A good alternative would be cayenne pepper or red pepper.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.

🥒 Cucumber Note

Use firm and Crunchy cucumbers like Persian, Japanese, or Baby Cucumbers when making this dish.

Spicy garlic cucumber salad served in a white bowl.


Step 1 Cut your cucumbers into bite-size pieces using the side of a knife or a rolling pin to lightly smash them. Place these pieces in a bowl.

Chopped cucumbers.

🥒 Cucumber Cutting Pro Tip

For a quick marinade, consider Smashing the Cucumbers with the side of your knife or a rolling pin. This method accelerates the absorption process, ensuring a flavorful outcome in less time.

Step 2 Next, prepare the sauce by combining sweetener, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, red pepper, toasted sesame seeds, and minced garlic in a separate mixing bowl.

Sauce for Asian spicy cucumber salad.

Step 3 Finally, pour the prepared sauce over the cucumbers, toss until evenly coated, and refrigerate the salad until you’re ready to serve.

Asian spicy cucumber salad served in a bowl.

🍽️ Serving Pro Tip

For optimal taste and texture, serve the dish chilled after marinating it in the Fridge for 30-60 Minutes. This duration allows the cucumbers to absorb the sauce while retaining their crunchy texture, enhancing the overall flavors.

Pairing Recommendations

This recipe pairs perfectly with other Asian-style dishes like Honey Walnut Shrimp or Black Pepper Chicken, offering a complementary mix of flavors. It also goes well with simple soups such as Chinese Shrimp Egg Drop Soup or Egg Drop Miso Soup.

Spicy garlic cucumber salad served in a white bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use regular cucumbers instead of Persian or Japanese cucumbers?

Yes, you could use regular cucumbers instead of Persian or Japanese cucumbers, but keep in mind that the texture won't be nearly as crunchy, which is a one of the appeals for this recipe.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in this salad?

Absolutely! You can adjust the level of spiciness in this salad by simply adjusting the amount of togarashi or red pepper you use.

Is it okay to make this salad ahead of time?

Yes, it's okay to make this salad ahead of time, but we recommend doing so no more than 2 hours in advance to ensure optimal freshness and crunchiness.

Storage Tips

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate them. They will stay fresh for 3-5 days.

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Watch How To Make It

Spicy garlic cucumber salad served in a white bowl.

Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad

Spice up your meal with my Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad! This refreshing and easy-to-make salad features crunchy cucumbers tossed in a tangy, garlicky sauce with a hint of spice. Perfect for any occasion, this salad is a delicious addition to your table.
4.60 from 10 votes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: spicy Asian cucumber salad
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 34kcal



  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for Asian spicy cucumber salad.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together sweetener, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Toasted Sesame Oil, Togarashi, Toasted Sesame Seeds.
    Sauce for Asian spicy cucumber salad.
  • Cut cucumbers into 1 inch long spears as shown below.
    Chopped cucumbers.
  • Mince garlic and set aside.
    Mined garlic.
  • Add in minced garlic and spear cucumbers into the sauce, mix, transfer to a serving bowl and leave in the fridge until ready to serve. Best served after 5-10 of marination in the fridge!
    Asian spicy cucumber salad served in a bowl.


Calories: 34kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 225mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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  1. Could you make recipes print friendly? I love your ideas!

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