Sesame Cucumber Salad


Cooling cucumber salad, perfect for hot days and late night snacks. Cucumber chunks, tossed with sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, and chili flakes.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Will someone please tell me why it is 60°F and drizzly, at the end of May, here in Sacramento?

For my Memorial Day BBQ, we huddled around the fireplace, while the brave ones (or those more appropriately dressed for the weather) manned the grill.

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I don’t want to complain too loudly though, lest some of you enduring the heat wave that’s sitting on much of the country send those searing temps back towards us. We’ll get our share later, I can assure you.

For those of you who do find yourself in stifling heat, and are looking for something cooling, I can recommend this cucumber salad, recipe courtesy of a certain tall, dark, and handsome Frenchman. (Thank you Guy!)

It’s actually good any time of the year; we like it for a light late night snack while watching Poirot or the Pink Panther.

Sesame Cucumber Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-3

Add some thinly sliced basil as an option, Thai basil or Vietnamese basil works best, though regular Italian basil works too!


  • 2 medium sized cucumbers (about 1 lb total)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons toasted (dark) sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)


1 Peel the cucumbers. Cut them into quarters, lengthwise. (If the seeds are bitter, scrape out the seeds and discard.) Cut the cucumbers again, crosswise, into 1/2-inch thick pieces.

2 Place cucumbers into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Toss with sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, basil (if using), and chili flakes. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if using.

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Sesame Cucumber Salad

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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26 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kathy

    This recipe is so simple and so yummy! Thanks!


  2. Rose

    Always looking for a way to add more vegetables to our diet and my husband (not a vegetable fan) loves cucumbers. So I made this to serve with teriyaki pork chops and a little fried rice. It was yummy and I got approval to save the recipe and serve it again. The one thing DH suggested was to cut the cucumbers smaller as a previous comment suggested.

  3. Diana

    This cucumber salad is also amazing with just a bit of garlic and/or Sichuan peppercorn. :)


  4. Jean

    So simple and delicious! I had this as a side salad with Korean short ribs and steamed rice. I didn’t have red pepper flakes on hand so I just added a sprinkle of sesame seeds instead.


  5. Becky

    I’m eating this salad as I write. Delish. Had all the ingredients on hand, so that’s nice about it. Macerating not needed at all, unless you’re trying to use nasty winter hothouse cucumbers or something. The red pepper flakes add the perfect bite. I usually make the old classic cuke salad– sliced, salted, vinegar and sugar, black pepper– but this is a really nice alternative.

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