Cook: 10-15 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Asian Cucumber Salad with Ginger, Garlic, Chillies and Soy

This is a recipe from Melissa Clark, one of my favourite cooks (have I mentioned that?!) And this cucumber salad says everything about why I am quite so obsessed with her recipes is so, so delicious! There is so much going on here: cool, fresh, fleshy cucumber, bold, tangy and aromatic ginger, chillies and garlic. And it's a time-poor chef's dream: super speedy and easy to do, and, it can be made 4 hours ahead of time and kept in the fridge! All your adoring guests will see is serenity and calm as you float out this corker of a salad.




  • SERVES 4
  • 2-3 Cucumbers
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic (minced or very finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh, grated Ginger
  • 4 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce (Not the Tamari one, which is too strong)
  • 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 Red Chillies, sliced into rings and de-seeded


one. Arrange the cucumbers on a chopping board. Using a rolling pin, pound them, until they are smashed and broken apart. Tear them into 1 1/2 inch chunks, discarding any seeds that fall out during the process (it's ok to leave those that don't).

two. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar and chilli slices. Mix well.

three. Add the cucumbers and toss to coat them in the dressing.

four. You can serve this straight away, but it gets better if it has a little chance to marinade. You can pop it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Serving Suggestion. A beautiful accompaniment to Vietnamese Garlic Chicken or perhaps a meaty white fish, baked in a foil parcel with aromatic ingredients such as lemongrass, garlic, chillies and coriander.

Possible Amendment. This makes for quite a lot of dressing, which is how I like it! Feel free to reduce quantities if desired.