The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Posted on
June 10, 2020 by
The VRG Blog Editor

Photo by Rissa Miller

By Rissa Miller, Senior Editor Vegetarian Journal

This salad celebrates the contrasting flavors of mellow, cooling cucumbers and spicy chili paste. The two balance each other beautifully in a crunchy salad perfect as a side dish on any warm afternoon, or for a light lunch. Want to bulk it up? Add some or all of the optional toppings, and make it into a meal by adding tofu, a red bell pepper, and noodles.

Asian-Inspired Cucumber Salad

(Serves 3)

3 cups cucumbers, sliced into bite-size pieces

1-3 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)

2 scallions, finely chopped


juice of 1 lime

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar (or white vinegar)

1 Tablespoon chili paste (or less, to taste)

1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 Tablespoon agave syrup

1 Tablespoon water

1 teaspoon peanut or sesame oil

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)

Toppings: (optional)

4-5 slivered fresh basil leaves

1-2 Tablespoons chopped peanuts

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Add cucumbers, garlic, and scallions, and toss to coat. Top as desired and serve chilled. Even tastier the second day!

Make it a meal: 

To bulk this salad up into a hearty lunch or dinner, double the dressing and use half to marinade a block of pressed, firm tofu overnight. The next day, cube the tofu and add to the cucumber salad. Also, add a sliced red bell pepper. Serve over prepared rice or cellophane noodles.

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