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Marinated cucumber salad with cilantro and garlic chips on a white plate.

Marinated Cucumber Salad

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  • Author: Alexandra Shytsman
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan


This Asian cucumber salad with cilantro and garlic chips is light, refreshing, and packed with flavor.


  • 3 kirby cucumbers* (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • About 1/4 cup neutral oil, for frying (like avocado, refined coconut, or organic non-GMO canola)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced*
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • About 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar*
  • About 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro with tender stems


  1. Peel the cucumbers partially (leaving strips of skin behind), halve lengthwise, then slice into half-moons on a diagonal.
  2. Place cucumbers into a mesh strainer set over a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat in salt. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat about half an inch of neutral oil in a small pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook just until it takes on some color around the edges, about 2 minutes after it starts sizzling – do not wait until it is any darker, or the garlic will turn out bitter. (Add chili flakes to the oil at the very end if you want some heat.) Immediately strain the garlic into a small mesh strainer set over a bowl (reserve the oil*), then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. The chips will crisp up as they cool.
  4. Remove cukes from the fridge and drain any liquid that has pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Transfer cukes from the strainer to the bowl and season to taste with sesame oil, vinegar, and soy sauce.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate/shallow bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, cilantro, and garlic chips. Serve immediately.


  • You can use any cukes you have: kirby, Persian, English, etc.
  • If you don’t feel like frying garlic, top the salad with store-bought fried shallots.
  • Seasoned rice vinegar is regular rice vinegar with salt and sugar added to it. If you don’t have any, sub with a splash of another mild vinegar and compensate with a sprinkle of sugar, if you feel the salad needs it.
  • Repurpose the garlicky oil for roasting or sautéing vegetables, in dressings, etc.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
  • Calories: 50
  • Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 0.9 g