I’m starting to notice it. The days are getting shorter and I’m slowly coming to the realization that summer is almost over. How does every season just fly by so fast every single time? Even though I’m 100% not ready for shorter days, I’m pretty stoked about the leaves changing color and the crisp air. I think that is my most favorite part of Fall. The crisp, cold, and clean air. Oh, and the warm cinnamon scent.
Ha, I don’t know why I’m reminiscing about Fall right now…MAYBE because it’s 95 bajillion degrees outside right now with humidity that suffocates you the moment you step out of your nicely air conditioned home or car? Yeah. That’s probably a very good reason why!
Anyway! I have a story about this spicy Chinese cucumber salad.
When Jason and I first started dating, I knew that if he didn’t like ethnic cuisine, we would definitely not work out. Additionally, I was really hoping he was adventurous because in a lot of Asian cuisine, you have to be! Thankfully, and as you can tell cause we are now married, he was and still is! To be honest, I think he is actually more adventurous than I am.
One of the first restaurants that Jason and I went to around here was a Taiwanese cafe. Jason loves cucumbers in any form and when he spotted this spicy Chinese cucumber salad on the menu, he said he had to have it. I had to triple check that he was sure because these things tend to be spicy (unless you make it yourself because in that case, you can easily adjust). He was 100% sure and he pretty much ate the entire dish himself, haha
It has been on my bucket list for a while to make this cucumber salad for him because of how much he loves it. Every time we go to a Taiwanese or Chinese restaurant and the menu has this cucumber salad, he orders it. Thankfully, this is extremely easy to make at home and I can make this often to satisfy his craving!
Don’t let these dried chiles fool you; they are five alarm spicy!
Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad
Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.
- 4 persian cucumbers (you can also use seedless cucumbers)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
- 2-3 dried red chiles
- Cut the ends of the cucumbers off then cut the cucumber in half, lengthwise then in half again, lengthwise, and then into quarters.
- In a bowl, toss cucumbers with salt and let sit for 30-40 minutes to let liquid drain off. Rinse the cucumbers to get excess salt off.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, sambal oelek, and dried red chiles. Add more sugar, vinegar, spice, to taste.
- In an airtight container with a lid, add the cucumbers to the container then pour the soy sauce mixture over top.
- Tightly close the lid and shake!
- Let marinate in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Before serving, shake the container again to redistribute mixture.
- Serve chilled.
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