Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
30 Jul

Asian Cucumber Salad

Cool as a cucumber. In the summer months, this phrase takes on a literal meaning. Cucumbers are primarily composed of water, making them the perfect summer thirst-quencher. Look for cukes that are dark green, firm, slender and un-waxed so you can eat the fiber-rich skin. Persian cucumbers, smaller and rarely bitter, are especially popular these days.

When you have a stash of cucumbers on a hot summer day, the first step is cutting four round slices. Next, find a relaxing place to sit, preferably by a pool. Place two slices in a glass of ice water for sipping. Place two slices over your eyes. Ahhhhh. Pure relaxation. When your stomach starts to growl it’s time to slice more cucumbers, this time for dinner.

Doused in a simple sesame dressing, cucumbers can be served alone or combined with any number of vegetables. Contrast the light, cool flavors of this Asian Cucumber Salad with the savory flavors of seared meat. Try marinating flank steak or skirt steak in a few tablespoons of tamari and several minced garlic cloves. Grill, slice and serve next to (or on top of) the salad.


4 small Persian cucumbers or 2 larger cucumbers
1 red pepper
2 carrots
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (with no sugar added)
2 teaspoons wheat-free tamari (similar to soy sauce)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, diced or grated*
1-2 tablespoons black sesame seeds (found in the Asian section of most supermarkets)


Cut the cucumber into thin round slices. Dice the red pepper or cut into thin strips. Grate the carrots.

In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, tamari and ginger (*if you own a zester, it’s the perfect kitchen tool for grating ginger.) Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables.

Garnish with black sesame seeds. Serve chilled.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. oooooo, pretty!
    this one’s definately going in the recipe box!

    Peggy wrote on July 30th, 2009
  2. I love cucumber salads! So light and refreshing. Definitely like this dressing idea, so will try that next time.

    Jane wrote on July 30th, 2009
  3. that is amazing!.. definitely going to try that one out. Im guessing the sesame oil can be switched with olive oil or ghee ??? (thats all I am using at the moment).

    sidd wrote on July 30th, 2009
  4. Yum. I especially like lemon cucumbers. Never bitter. They are round and have a yellow skin. Don’t taste like lemons, tho. They reseed themselves in my garden every year. That dressing looks like a keeper.

    Wiping cucumber on your skin is refreshing and good for it too.

    Mary wrote on July 30th, 2009
  5. sidd, olive oil would probably be fine, but sesame oil has a very distinct taste to it. So it would be a little different than the recipe, but the other dressing ingedients would probably still make it asian-flavored enough :)

    hannahc wrote on July 30th, 2009
  6. perfect timing! my cucumbers are going crazy :) will try this with lemon cucumbers as well~

    Sheri wrote on July 30th, 2009
  7. Looks awesome. There was another Asian recipe that called for Tamari, but I’ve been having trouble finding it. Where do you get your Tamari in S. CA?

    Berto at Discount Supplements wrote on July 30th, 2009
  8. I’m so making this! Btw, I thought Tamari was non-primal as it’s made with soy and have been avoiding it.

    maba wrote on July 30th, 2009
  9. Tamari can be found at Asian stores. Mostly those that serve Japanese – but I’d think in SoCal you wouldn’t have a problem.

    Ame wrote on July 30th, 2009
  10. The cucumbers in the picture are not true cucumbers, these are long, big ones with little flavour
    True cucumbers are less watery and much much tastier (and have way more witamins)

    C2H5OH wrote on July 31st, 2009
  11. I am cursed with high blood pressure and I am thus very sensitive to sodium. Is there a reasonable flavor substitute for tamari, soy sauce, etc.?

    (I am able to completely control the high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes, with diet and exercise but an intake of a sodium-rich food item can foul things up.)

    James H wrote on July 31st, 2009
  12. Nice looking Salad… Though Cucumber is Really good but Any Vegetable with roughage content will do for most of us… especially i take salad whenever i have constipation :-)
    Anyway, Thanks for the recipe

    austina wrote on August 1st, 2009
  13. How about fish sauce as a tamari substitute? I made this recipe as is, and my wife and I liked it, but something made me want to switch things up to fish sauce, cilantro, serrano chiles, and lime instead of tamari, sesame seeds, ginger and rice vinegar. Is fish sauce a reasonable PB condiment or is it too high in salt?

    Geoff wrote on August 2nd, 2009
  14. loved this salad, i served it with thai spicy fried fish and it was great.

    rosiet wrote on September 1st, 2009
  15. the best part about this recipe is that it’s actually a real chinese dish. when i read the title of this article in a “related articles” section of a different article i got excited to see it! in chinese it is called 凉拌黄瓜 (liang2 ban4 huang2 gua1), which literally means “cool cucumber salad” this primal recipe is pretty much exactly on point with the traditional recipe, which i find to be very awesome!

    NIK wrote on July 11th, 2012

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