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Winning Tsukemono Festival Entry: ‘(Not so) Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad’

Terada says: “A few months ago, I bought a bag of little cucumbers from Costco, and I wanted to make that cucumber side dish that you get at Korean restaurants. Saw this recipe on Instagram. It may not be what you get at Korean restaurants, but I like it anyway. I changed the name to ‘(Not so) Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad’ because it’s not so spicy.”

Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad. A crispy, refreshing and spicy cucumber salad. Seasoned with soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, green onions, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds and chili oil. Perfect as a side dish.


  • 6 mini cucumbers or Persian cucumbers

  • 2 teaspoon salt to drain water


  • 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chili oil

  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds

  • 2 tablespoon green onion finely sliced


  1. Wash cucumbers and cut off the ends.

  2. Place one cucumber between two chopsticks that you don’t mind nicking up (like takeout chopsticks). Make thin diagonal slices on the top. Then flip the cucumber over and do the same on the other side. Then cut the cucumber into halves. Repeat for remaining cucumbers. Transfer to a large bowl. Alternatively, you can thinly slice your cucumbers, too.

  3. Sprinkle salt over cucumbers and gently massage into them. Let cucumbers soak in salt for five minutes (no more than 10 minutes or they will break down). Rinse with cold water at least three to four times to completely remove the salt. Strain and set aside.

  4. Combine dressing ingredients in a separate bowl.

  5. Pour dressing over cucumbers and gently mix. Enjoy!



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