Recipe | Spicy Cucumber Salad

This spicy cucumber salad recipe is adapted from one of my favorite NY Times Cooking recipes. The original recipe is super yummy. Sometimes I don’t have the patience to make the real version, so I found a way to fake it without compromising on taste.

The original recipe takes 40 minutes to make. My version  takes ~15 minutes. It’s so refreshing and makes a perfect warm weather appetizer. Cucumbers help keep you hydrated—as well as other beauty + health benefits (scroll down for deets). It would also make an awesome portable side because the longer the cucumbers bathe in the dressing, the better it tastes.


The dressing is a mix of sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes and garlic. I usually use two cucumbers and halfway peel the skin (see photo).

The NY Times recipe has salt and sugar, which I don’t add because I don’t need the sugar and soy sauce and tamari are salty enough. However, when I want to indulge (or when I want to make it for special meals) I do add salt and sugar to create the real deal. My quick version is just an everyday recipe (which is great for evenings after work when you’re pressed for time and just want to go to bed), so I tried to make it healthier.



Then, take two english cucumbers and cut them in half horizontally, then in half vertically to have eight cucumber fourths. Scoop our the seeds with a spoon (I think taking the seeds out ensures the salad won’t be watery, but I could just be making that up).


After scooping the seeds out, the cucumbers should look like boats. Chop the boats in half inch pieces (should like like the photo above). Add dressing and let the cucumbers bathe for 10 minutes. This allows the cucumbers to soak up all the yumminess!

You’ll end up with excess dressing, so after the cucumbers bathe drain most of the dressing and EAT!


Sous chef Maddie!

I love cucumbers because of their crunch and their manyyyy health and beauty benefits, such as

Benefits of Cucumbers:

  • Keeps you hydrated
  • Fights heat (inside and out)
  • Flushes toxins
  • Nourishes you with A B and C vitamins
  • Smooths hair and nails
  • Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon
  • Refreshes the mouth

My Spicy Cucumber Salad Recipe:


  • Two English Cucumbers
  • Dressing:
    • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
    • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
    • Red pepper flakes, to taste


  1. Slice cucumber in half horizontally, then in half vertically. With two cucumbers you should end up with eight mid-sized cucumber pieces.
  2. Scoop out seeds with a spoon (the mid-sized cucumber pieces end up looking like a boat).
  3. Chop the “boat” into smaller sized pieces (I usually do 1/2 inch sized pieces) then put in a large bowl
  4. Mix together all liquids and minced garlic to make the dressing
  5. Add dressing and as many red pepper flakes as you want to the large bowl and let the cucumbers bathe in the liquids for 5-10 mins
  6. Taste! Feel free to add more soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil or red pepper flakes.
  7. You’ll end up with excess dressing. after the cucumbers bathe, drain most of the dressing
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