This vegan cucumber salad is addicting! It’s tangy from the vinegar and kimchi, slightly sweet from the maple syrup and toasted sesame oil, and a little spicy from the ginger! It’s the most refreshing side dish that comes together in just under an hour!
This recipe is inspired by some of my favorite flavors, but it’s also inspired by the weather were having here in the San Francisco Bay Area these days. Although I do enjoy warmer weather, we’re reaching levels of miserable heat over here!
I had intended on getting into fall mode over here and starting to share warmer soups and casseroles but cooking in this heat is just not on option. That’s where this cucumber salad comes in.
Not only is it quick and delicious, but it requires no cooking and takes very little hands on time! If you’re in the middle of a heat wave, this recipe is for you.
preparing the cucumber
As you probably already know, cucumbers have an extremely high water content.
In order to prepare the cucumbers best for this recipe, slice them very thin and salt the cucumbers to draw out the excess moisture.
If you’ve never done this before, it’s very easy. Add your sliced cucumber to a colander and place it in the sink or over a large bowl. Add a generous pinch of salt and toss the cucumber slices.
Let this sit for 30-45 minutes. During this time the salt will absorb the excess moisture in the cucumber through osmosis!
After 30-45 minutes, transfer the cucumber to a clean tea towel and use the towel to wipe the excess salt off of the cucumber slices.
This dressing is seriously one of my favorites and is made with just a few staples in my kitchen (and hopefully yours, too!).
- sesame oil
- rice vinegar
- tamari (soy sauce)
- minced ginger
- minced garlic
- maple syrup
I have the measurements I like to use down below in the recipe card, but feel free to adjust the measurements to match your taste! I will say, though, kimchi is essential here so please don’t skip it!
preparing this recipe in advance
Although this salad won’t last and stay crisp super long, you can absolutely prepare it the night before!
Just be sure to keep the dressing and cucumbers stored separately.
Wait to toss the cucumbers in the dressing until right before serving to be sure the cucumber stays as crunchy as possible! The crunch is the best part, after all!
What to serve this with
This salad is a great snack but is also the perfect side salad. It would go along great with other recipes that use Asian inspired flavors. Here are a few recipes I’d make to go along with this salad!
- Vegetable Gyoza with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
- Sticky Vegan Orange Chicken
- 30 Minute Crispy Peanut Tofu
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
I hope you guys give this recipe a try and don’t forget to pin this recipe for later! It’s absolutely one of my favorites I’ve shared to date. I can’t stop eating it!
As always, please leave me a comment and a rating if you try this recipe and share your recipes with me on Instagram. I love seeing your remakes and love connecting with you!
Tangy Vegan Cucumber Salad
- 3 cucumbers thinly sliced
- pinch sea salt to taste
- sesame seeds
- ¼ cup sesame oil toasted
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ⅓ cup kimchi finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tamari gluten-free if needed
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced
- Thinly slice the cucumbers and add them to a colander over the sink or over a large mixing bowl.
- Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt over the cucumbers and lightly toss them in the salt. This salt will pull the excess moisture out of the cucumbers.
- Allow the cucumber slices to sit for 30-45 minutes. In the meantime prepare the dressing. Simply mix together all salad dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- After 30-45 minutes, transfer the cucumber slices to a clean tea towel. Lightly pat the slices with the tea towel to help remove any excess salt.
- Next transfer the cucumbers to a large mixing bowl and toss them in the dressing. Allow the cucumbers to marinade in the dressing for 5 minutes then serve immediately with the fresh cilantro and sesame seeds sprinkled on top.
- Storing: This salad is best enjoyed fresh, however you can store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Make ahead option: Follow the steps through step 4. Then store the cucumbers and the dressing in separate storage containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days (ideally 1 day). Toss in the dressing right before serving.
- Use the measurements for this recipe as a guide! Taste and adjust as needed to your preferences. For more spice, increase the ginger.
- This is the kimchi I used.
- I used my food processor to slice the cucumbers uniformly thin. Alternatively you can use a mandolin or just carefully cut them!