Japanese Cucumber Salad

Japanese Cucumber Salad Recipe

Simple. Surprising. Spunky. Just what we look for in a summer salad. Just what we found in this jumble of cucumbers, vinegar, and ginger. (Despite the title that Jamie Oliver confers on it, it’s not exactly the most traditional of Japanese recipes. But I’m certainly not holding that against it.)–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC A Seedy Situation Note

You know better than anyone else your tolerance for cucumber seeds. We rather like the slippery, watery little guys. But if you don’t, consider it as you select and slice your cucumbers, opting instead for a hothouse cucumber—the pricy, plastic-wrapped ones with nary a seed—or simply stop slicing the kirby or regular cukes as soon as you get to the seedy part. So simple.

Japanese Cucumber Salad Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the ginger dressing
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated or cut into very fine slivers
  • 1 stick lemongrass, outer leaves removed, inner ones finely chopped (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • A few drops of soy sauce, to taste
  • For the cucumber salad
  • 3 kirby cucumbers or 1 large cucumber, unpeeled but rinsed
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped or left whole
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped or ripped into pieces

Directions

  • Make the ginger dressing
  • 1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Taste and adjust the ingredients accordingly. (You can cover and refrigerate for up to several hours before the ginger flavor will become really quite pronounced.)
  • Make the cucumber salad
  • 2. Thinly slice the cucumber(s) lengthwise, either with a mandoline, a handheld slicer, or one of those cheap old potato peelers. Basically you want to get very thin ribbons of cucumber.
  • 3. Place the ribbons on a plate or platter and spread them out. (You can cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.) Sprinkle with some ripped up fresh mint and cilantro and drizzle generously with the ginger dressing.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Cindi Kruth

Aug 18, 2010

This simple salad was incredibly refreshing on a hot, New England evening. I clipped fresh mint from the garden. That, combined with the lemongrass, ginger, and cilantro, made the farmers’ market cucumbers really shine. I loved the thin ribbons, which absorbed lots of the flavorful dressing. A little awkward to eat, but it tasted so good that we didn’t care.

Testers Choice
Brenda Carleton

Aug 18, 2010

Yum. This is truly a refreshing salad in both taste and presentation. The salad dressing with the freshly grated ginger and lemongrass was a major hit with both my husband and I. In fact, we practically slurped our salad bowls when we were done! The kick of the ginger and brightness of the lemongrass really added a lot of character. Though the lemongrass is optional, it’s highly recommended. I added probably about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce rather than the few drops called for, as a few drops didn’t cut it for me. The long ribbons were gorgeous, and the mint and cilantro so pretty and fresh. The addition of a minced red Thai (or other) chile would add a bit of pop in colour and flavour—not that it was needed at all. We’re in fact making this again this weekend for guests.

Testers Choice
Joel Jenkins

Aug 18, 2010

If I was looking at picking a recipe to be a taster’s choice based solely on simplicity, then this would be one of them. In addition to being simple, it also provides a light accompaniment to any heavier dish. The ginger dressing with a hint of lemongrass fits perfectly with the crisp Japanese cucumber. I prepared the dressing ahead of time but left the herbs and cucumber prep until right before I served it. I used the soy sauce very sparingly and think it could be left out completely. I used my mandoline to slice the cucumbers after trying the old peeler technique and not getting as clean of slice as I wanted. Overall, it’s definitely worth putting in the book for a quick, unique salad option.

Testers Choice
Jean Moats

Aug 18, 2010

This recipe is a quick and easy way to enjoy cucumbers during the summer, and is a refreshing addition to a summer party. The ginger gives the salad an added kick. I had some cucumber slices left over, so I just added the remaining dressing, cilantro, and mint to the same container, and the salad worked great stored together.

Testers Choice
Lydia Brimage

Aug 18, 2010

I was initially apprehensive about this recipe, as I thought that the combination of vinegar and cucumber didn’t sound appealing. I used a potato peeler to get thin slivers of cucumber, switching to a mandoline when it was difficult to use the peeler near the end of the cucumber. I left out the lemongrass, but I think the recipe would be very tasty if it was included. The recipe had lovely, zingy flavours from the fresh herbs, ginger, and vinegar. However, my criticism is that I found the cucumber to be very wet and oily after the dressing was added, so I’d recommend using the dressing more sparingly, or perhaps dressing the cucumber with the dressing and then lifting the cucumber out of the dressing to serve. I also felt that the cucumber skin was a bit dull and hard to pick up on a fork, and so you might try peeling the cucumber before slicing it thicker so that there aren’t slices of just skin present in the salad.

Testers Choice
Robert McCune

Aug 18, 2010

This is one of the most refreshing and cooling summer salads I’ve tasted, and is truly simple. I am a complete sucker for any Japanese/Asian/Chinese cucumber salad. When I read this recipe, I was intrigued by the fact that it didn’t have any sesame oil and called for very little soy sauce. I tried the recipe two different ways—with cilantro and mint and then with basil and mint. Both were excellent. The basil and mint combination is nice for people who just can’t tolerate the taste of cilantro. Many of the cucumbers that we find at the market are heavily waxed and tend to be very bitter if not peeled and seeded, so I decided to try an English cucumber. It was quite long, so I cut it in half crosswise first. This made the ribbons a bit more manageable. One thing I’ll do next time is add a little more ginger. What little leftovers I had were wilted the next day and took on an almost preserved character. This wasn’t at all unpleasant—in fact, it was very good made into a sandwich with thin slices of tomato. The small amount of soy sauce and lack of sesame oil made this salad just a little different and lighter than typical Asian-style cucumber salads. Very much a recipe that I’ll make over and over!

Testers Choice
Amy Giezentanner

Aug 18, 2010

This flavorful cucumber salad has a lot of potential. It’s nutritious, easy to make, and ultra-fresh. It could easily be a keeper with just a few changes: The cucumber ribbons, for instance, are pretty but not eater-friendly. I spent as much time cutting them while eating than I’d have spent cutting pieces of steak. I also believe that while it was fresh, it had little depth. I found that I needed more than just “a few drops of soy sauce” to balance it out. I’ll make this salad again, but I’ll cut the cucumbers into smaller pieces and I’ll add more soy from the get-go for better balance.

Testers Choice
Davneet Minhas

Aug 18, 2010

Complex, refreshing, and delicious. Would you expect any less from a cucumber salad by Jamie Oliver? The ginger dressing is tangy, zesty, spicy, and the perfect complement to crisp cucumbers. Just make sure you allow it to sit in the fridge for a few hours, as prescribed, so the ginger and lemongrass can infuse the oil. Otherwise, the olive oil flavor may be a little too pronounced. I had this as a side to Asian-style ceviche, which made for an all-around refreshing meal on a hot summer day. But it’ll work alongside many hot or cold dishes, whether you’re trying to cool down or heat up your tongue.

Testers Choice
Julie Dreyfoos

Aug 18, 2010

I really like the flavor of the Ginger Dressing in this recipe, as it’s a bit different with the addition of the lemongrass. I also like the combination of the fresh mint, cilantro, and cucumber. What I didn’t like, however, was slicing the cucumber into ribbons—I found this to be a big pain. I bought small cucumbers, so it took even longer to cut, and it didn’t help that I had doubled the recipe, which meant even more slicing. I didn’t want to use my mandolin because of the small size of the cucumbers, so I used an old-fashioned potato peeler, which gave me the right thickness but took forever to slice. It did make for a very pretty salad, but next time I’ll just slice them the old-fashioned way.

Comments
Comments
  1. Coco says:

    This looks great! I sometimes use my julienne slicer for cucumber salad, which makes for a very pretty presentation.

  2. Lauralee Hensley says:

    All the reviews read like this is delicious. I’ll have to try it out after I get a few of the ingredients on hand.

  3. marion says:

    Delicious, fresh, simple…This cucumber salad was a delight. It wasn’t salty enough for me, but we loved it, Great dish :)

  4. AGinTO says:

    OH…MY!!! I think I have all these ingredients in my house. It looks so very refreshing, and I think I’ll have this for a side with dinner tonight!

  5. Sonia Soelter says:

    I loved this salad, it was so cool and refreshing on a hot summer night. I used a japanese cucumber from the garden and sliced it in my food processor. It was not as pretty as the long ribbons of cucumber in the photo, but it was very fast!

  6. Abigail says:

    I have to admit that I love Jamie’s recipes! They are easy to follow and this salad is another simple recipe, very fresh and nice to have during the hot summer. It’s already copied to our “Family Cookbook” next to our favorite Jamie’s fast Pizza… A word about cucumbers: It’s important to find tasty cucumbers for any salad, but especially for this one, because they are the heart of the dish. If you have a Farmer’s Market near you, try to look for small cucumbers with a nice earthy smell. I won’t suggest using the long cucumber which has no taste and is not nice when cut to ribbons. It takes seconds to slice small cucumbers with a basic Mandolin. You can prepare the dressing few hours earlier and mix the salad only before serving; we had it about15 minutes later. Since getting the recipe, we had few times already… First – for diner with grilled Salmon – It was delicious and nice on the plate, than we had it again with Rice Rolls filled with Tuna Salad or with Grilled Chicken Breasts on a family Brunch.

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