Looking for a veg-forward, no-cook side dish that complements any protein? We’ve got you covered with this Asian Cucumber “Noodle” Salad.
All hail, the humble cucumber!
I used to think that cucumbers were just for scooping up hummus and guacamole and putting in salads until I realized that they could BE the salad. Sure, I ate them growing up as “Creamed Cukes” swimming in mayo, white vinegar, and sugar but they were more of a side dish reserved for Sunday suppers when my Grandma Margie made her “famous” fried chicken, sweet corn, and sliced tomatoes from the garden. Mmmmm…where were we? Oh yes, cucumbers as a HEALTHY salad which is what you get when you use a spiral cutter to turn a pile of humble, very hydrating cucumbers into this healthy Asian Cucumber “Noodle” Salad.
Carrots for color and carotenoids.
Though this Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad with its sesame-infused dressing would be good with just cucumbers, cucumbers don’t offer a TON of nutrition outside of water, fiber, a little potassium and loads of vitamin K, so the addition of julienned/shredded/matchstick-ed carrots seemed like a good idea. Add to that the fact that I have one child for whom carrots and cucumbers are 33% of the vegetables she’ll actually eat.
If you don’t have the time, patience or knife-skills to cut your carrots into matchsticks, here are a few easy options to consider:
- Buy pre-shredded carrots from the produce section
- Use a vegetable peeler to cut the carrots into ribbons
- Use a julienne peeler (I use this one)
- Use a spiral cutter to create carrot “noodles” (large diameter carrots work best with this method). Be sure to toss the “core” of the carrots into a bag in your freezer to add to your next batch of bone broth to save money and decrease food waste
Make ahead…but not too far ahead.
We know you love recipes that you can prep ahead, so this Asian Cucumber “Noodle” Salad is exactly what you need when you want an easy, healthy, no-cook side dish that comes together super fast. The cucumbers, carrots and green onions can be prepped up to 2 days in advance while the dressing will last up to 5 days in the fridge. When it’s time to serve, toss the veggies with the dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
If you think you’ll have leftovers, you may want to dress just the portion of veggies that you’ll be using since the salad tends to get pretty watery in the fridge when stored for more than a few hours thanks to the salt in the coconut aminos or tamari that draw water from the cucumbers.
And if you love the dressing as much as we do at our house (or want to make our Chinese Chicken Salad), feel free to double the amount of dressing. It’s also great as a marinade for chicken, pork or steak and can be brushed onto salmon or shrimp before broiling or grilling.
Dig in! Chopsticks optional.
Asian Cucumber “Noodle” Salad
- 3 large cucumbers (about 2½ pounds), washed, dried and cut into “noodles” or ribbons
- 3 medium carrots, shredded or julienned (about 6 ounces, may substitute pre-shredded carrots)
- 3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp. coconut aminos (may substitute tamari if not Whole30)
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp. ground ginger (such as Simply Organic)
- ½ tsp. garlic powder (such as Simply Organic)
- Salt to taste
- 1½ tsp. black or white sesame seeds
Optional: Serve with a little pickled ginger (if not Whole30)
- Make the dressing by combining coconut aminos (or tamari), sesame oil, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Taste and add salt as needed. Set aside or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To make the salad, wash and dry cucumbers (peel, if desired) then cut into “noodles” using a spiral cutter. Alternatively, you can cut the cucumbers into ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
- Add spiralized cucumbers to a large bowl with carrots and green onions.
- When ready to serve, pour dressing over vegetables, toss to coat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
For best results: Add dressing to vegetables within a few hours of serving as the salad will get watery if made too far in advance.
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- Serving Size: ¼th of recipe
- Calories: 158
- Fat: 7g
- Sodium: 330mg
- Carbohydrate: 22g
- (Fiber: 2g
- Sugar: 10g)
- Protein: 3g
What’s your favorite way to enjoy cucumbers? Share in the comments below!
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