This refreshing Thai cucumber salad recipe tastes just like the restaurant version, and it only takes minutes to make! Thinly sliced cucumbers are tossed in a sweet and savory dressing along with red onions, peanuts and herbs for the perfect side dish.

I happen to love Thai food, and I often make a full Thai meal at home with Thai noodles, peanut chicken, Thai chicken curry and this simple yet satisfying cucumber salad.

A bowl of Thai cucumber salad topped with peanuts and cilantro.

I posted this Asian cucumber salad recipe a few weeks ago, and you all loved it so much that I decided another one was in order. This time around I’ve got a Thai cucumber salad, and it’s so delicious that I may or may not have eaten the entire batch for lunch one day! Every time we go to a Thai restaurant, my husband orders chicken satay. And when they bring out the satay, they bring out this tiny bowl of cucumber salad to go along with it but it’s never enough! This recipe tastes just like the restaurant version, and it’s crazy simple to make.

Thai Cucumber Salad Ingredients

Bowls of cucumber, red onion, seasonings and peanuts.

This recipe calls for cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion, salt, sugar, rice vinegar, cilantro and peanuts.

How do you make Thai cucumber salad?

Place your sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with salt. Let the cucumbers sit for about 10 minutes, then blot away any excess liquid with a paper towel. For the dressing, combine rice vinegar and sugar, then heat the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Place the cucumbers and red onions in a bowl, and pour the dressing over the top. Stir in the cilantro. Chill for at least 20 minutes, then add chopped peanuts before serving.

Step by step shots showing how to make Thai cucumber salad.

Tips for the perfect dish

  • I use small cucumbers (Persian style) for this recipe, because that’s what my Thai restaurant uses. If you can’t find the little cucumbers, try an English cucumber that’s been quartered and sliced.
  • My Thai restaurant’s cucumbers have little grooves on the outside, which is both pretty, and functional to let the salad dressing soak into the nooks and crannies. I copied this effect by peeling my cucumbers with a lemon zester, but that’s an optional step.
  • Salting the cucumbers is imperative here; it makes the cucumbers stay crisp in the salad.
  • You can add other vegetables such as thinly sliced carrots or red bell peppers for a different flavor.
Cilantro being sprinkled over cucumber salad.

Recipe FAQs

How do you keep cucumber salad from getting soggy?

The key component to keeping the cucumbers from getting soggy is to salt them before you add them to the salad. The salt draws out excess moisture from the cucumbers. When you blot the excess moisture off the cucumbers, they’ll be a lot less likely to release more liquid into the salad.

Do you rinse cucumbers after salting them?

Do not rinse the cucumbers after they’ve been salted. The salt also acts as an important seasoning agent in the salad.

Thai cucumber salad in a bowl with a serving spoon.

This Thai cucumber salad is best served after it’s had a chance to soak up some of the dressing, so let it sit for at least 20 minutes, or make it up to a day in advance, then enjoy!

More asian food recipes

4.96 from 66 votes

Thai Cucumber Salad

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of Thai cucumber salad topped with peanuts and cilantro.
This Thai cucumber salad recipe tastes just like the restaurant version, and it only takes minutes to make!
Time
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
Total Time26 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Asian
Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced I prefer the small persian cucumbers
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts

Instructions 

  • Place the cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle the salt over them. 
  • Toss to coat the cucumber slices in salt. Let sit 10 minutes.
  • Use a paper towel to blot the cucumber slices dry.
  • Place the rice vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  • Place the cucumbers and red onion in a large bowl, then pour the rice vinegar mixture over the top.
  • Add the cilantro to the cucumber mixture and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  • Sprinkle the peanuts over the top, then serve.

Notes

  1. I use small cucumbers (Persian style) for this recipe, because that’s what my Thai restaurant uses. If you can’t find the little cucumbers, try an English cucumber that’s been quartered and sliced.
  2. My Thai restaurant’s cucumbers have little grooves on the outside, which is both pretty, and functional to let the salad dressing soak into the nooks and crannies. I copied this effect by peeling my cucumbers with a lemon zester, but that’s an optional step.

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 891mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love Thai cucumber salad, and this recipe was great! Just like my Thai restaurant. Thanks for the easy, yummy recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    I love Thai food too, and fresh cucumber, so this was a must-make for me. It did not disappoint. Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe!

  3. Loved the heat in this one. Made two batches, one that was milder and was a huge hit at our brunch last weekend.

  4. 5 stars
    This is an outstanding recipe! It is such a delicious under treat with garden cucumbers. Thank you. I add thinly sliced jalapeños to mine. It’s terrific.

  5. 5 stars
    Hey I just made this for my lunch – very much like the versions I’ve enjoyed at Thai restaurants! I love this crunchy, fresh combination of flavors! I didn’t have red onion, but used chopped scallions instead, and added a shake of red pepper flakes for a little heat. YUM! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Fantastic! I’ve made it twice so far & as soon as I can get more cucumbers will be making it again! I added a little red pepper flakes for some heat.

  7. 5 stars
    Just saw this onFB and had everything to make it and it was just like a restaurant! So happy to have this recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    This looks so refreshing & light!! I love Thai food/flavors, so I will definitely be giving this a try!

  9. thank you for doing this. easy quick healthy food (i haven’t tried any recipes yet but im about to, they sound delicious ) with out three pages of describing every ingredient.

    1. You downgrade this recipe because you think you have a better idea?? You could just make your better suggestion without eliminating a star for this recipe. Some of us count on the star rating for the quality of the recipe. You rating is deceptive.

  10. I am trying a low carb diet, has anyone tried a sugar substitute when making the dressing for this salad. If so which one and was it good?

  11. 5 stars
    This salad looks soooo good! This looks like my favorite salad at my local Thai restaurant. I can’t wait to make this salad!