Vietnamese Cucumber Salad

Vietnamese Cucumber SaladSalad Crazy
I have a new salad obsession—which is a big deal because I am not a salad person. Well, I’m not a traditional salad person, in the leafy sense. I like the chunky type chopped salads like a corn salad or tomato salad…you get the idea.

Over the weekend we were up at Tahoe for my daughter’s softball tournament along with my sister and her family, who were there ‘cause, it’s Tahoe and Tahoe is awesome.
My sister is my best friend so having her along was great just in and of itself. One of the other benefits is that she likes to make dinner. So, I knew that after a long day of watching softball in the heat we were coming home to a pretty tasty meal. And, I was correct.

One of the dishes she prepared was this Vietnamese Cucumber Salad. I couldn’t stop eating it. I mean literally. I just kept going back for more. I am a fan of cucumbers so it’s not that big of a surprise that I enjoyed this salad. But, this was on a whole different level.

Cucumbers on a hot day are always a welcome addition to any meal because they are cooling, crunchy and refreshing. In this case they were also spicy and paired with peanuts. so good!

Vietnamese Cucumber Salad is one of those dishes that will become part of my normal rotation as a dinner side, as well as a great cooling lunch during hot weekdays. Bonus: it’s good for you, too.

The recipe is adapted from the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. And I recommend the book to anyone who wants to really learn how to cook well. It’s fantastic.

Vietnamese Cucumber Salad
It is important to use the Persian or Japanese cucumbers because the skin is thin and mild-flavored. If you are using conventional cukes, peel all the skin away. Also, we couln’t find any cilantro in Taho, and the Vietnamese Cucumber Salad was still amazing without it. So, if you are not a cilantro lover, go ahead and omit it.
Serves 4 to 6

For the Salad
2 pounds Persian or Japanese cucumbers
1 large jalapeño, seeds and veins removed, thinly sliced
3 green onions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely grated or pounded with a pinch of salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves (optional)
16 large mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For the Vinaigrette
1/4 cup canola oil
4 to 5 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt

Run a carrot peeler down the length of the cucumber creating stripes that alternate between skin and peeled. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice the cucumbers thinly into coins, discarding the ends.

In a large bowl, combine the cucumber coins, jalapeño, green onions, garlic, cilantro, mint and peanuts.

Make the Vinaigrette
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, 4 tablespoons of the lime juice, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and a pinch of salt.

Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and/or more lime juice as needed.

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