Super fresh and super simple, this Vietnamese-inspired Cucumber Salad makes a great Whole30, Paleo, and Keto side for summer grill outs.
There’s nothing quite a satisfying as the refreshing crunch of a cucumber on a hot summer day.
In this quick and easy recipe, crunchy cucumbers serve as the base while some Vietnamese-inspired flavors spice things up a bit to create a delicious and unique salad experience.
The salad makes a great accompaniment to almost any grilled meat (or even a nice burger topping).
My visit to Vietnam was easily one of my favorite trips ever, and the flavor of this salad really takes me back there without boarding a plane.
Ingredients for Vietnamese Cucumber Salad
The ingredients that go into this salad are pretty simple, and I usually have most of them on hand.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
- English cucumbers–you can also use Persian cucumbers, or standard cucumbers if you peel them first
- red onion
- Thai chili peppers–I pick these up at an international farmer’s market. If you have trouble finding them, use a small jalapeño pepper
- fresh cilantro–if you’re not a cilantro fan, just omit it or sub with some fresh basil
- dry roasted cashews
- fresh lime juice
- fish sauce–make sure it’s compliant if you’re on a Whole30 (I go with Red Boat all the way)
- sesame oil
- coconut aminos
- unseasoned rice vinegar
How to Make Vietnamese-inspired Cucumber Salad
Start by slicing the cucumbers in half vertically, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Slice the cucumber into thin half moons (or technically crescent moons, I suppose).
Combine the sliced cucumber, red onion, mint, and cilantro together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, lime juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and chili with a small pinch of salt.
Add the dressing to the bowl and give everything a nice toss.
Transfer the salad to a fancier bowl if desired and top with some crushed cashews. Serve immediately and enjoy!
More Vietnamese-inspired Recipes
Vietnamese-inspired Cucumber Salad
- 2 pounds English cucumbers about 2 large
- 1 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup unsalted dry roasted cashews lightly crushed
For the Dressing
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 Thai chili seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
- Cut each cucumber in half vertically, then scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Slice the cucumbers into thin cross-sections about 1/4 inch thick.
- Combine the sliced cucumber, red onion, mint, and cilantro together in a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small separate bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Season with more salt to taste.
- Top the salad with the crushed cashews and serve immediately.
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