June 12, 2020

Korean Cucumber Salad

A crisp and punchy Korean inspired cucumber salad recipe with green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar. Warning: this stuff is addicting!


When I tell you this is my latest obsession I am not exaggerating one bit!! The first time I made this I ATE IT ALL in the span of just an hour or two while the family watched a movie.

I texted my BFF a picture of the empty bowl and admitted to her that I had just single-handedly devoured an entire salad all by myself.

I was trying to lose some weight. Sigh. And had been eating low calorie for weeks when one night I craved a crunchy, savory snack like my life depended on it. Sigh again. You know how that goes.

Korean Cucumber Salad | A crisp and punchy Korean inspired cucumber salad recipe with green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar. Warning: this stuff is addicting! #korean #cucumbersalad

I was eyeballing Husband’s Salt & Vinegar chips awful hard when I remembered the English cucumbers in the fridge. I was just going to slice one and sprinkle some salt on it but decided to look online for inspiration.

That’s when I discovered the pure joy that is Korean Cucumber Salad!

Korean Cucumber Salad | A crisp and punchy Korean inspired cucumber salad recipe with green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar. Warning: this stuff is addicting! #korean #cucumbersalad

Korean Cucumber Salad is simply sliced cucumbers (English, Japanese or pickling – the good crisp ones), green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar.

It’s crisp and crunchy and savory and punchy and I could eat it for daaaaaays!

Many Korean cucumber salads are a bit like a quick pickle in that the cucumbers marinate in the dressing and soften. I much prefer the cucumbers to stay crisp and fresh so I dress my salad just before serving.

Korean Cucumber Salad | A crisp and punchy Korean inspired cucumber salad recipe with green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar. Warning: this stuff is addicting! #korean #cucumbersalad

Traditional Korean Cucumber Salad is made with Gochugaru, a Korean red chili powder, which is coarsely ground sundried Korean red peppers with a texture between flakes and powder. I’ve never been able to find it here (though is sounds divine!) so I just use crushed red pepper flakes (which I’m sure are nowhere near as good as the real deal but make me happy anyway).

And since I know someone’s going to ask, there really isn’t a substitute for the rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is verrrry mild and just a tiny bit sweet. To my knowledge there isn’t another type of vinegar that compares but I would say apple cider vinegar would come the closest.

Korean Cucumber Salad | A crisp and punchy Korean inspired cucumber salad recipe with green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar. Warning: this stuff is addicting! #korean #cucumbersalad

If you’ve never used rice vinegar, you will fall in love with it once you’ve tried it so it is totally worth buying some. Because it’s so crisp and mild I constantly use it, especially in the summer. I often cut up a garden tomato, pickling cucumbers and/or Vidalia onions, toss with a little rice vinegar and serve with supper.

Some Korean Cucumber Salad recipes have fresh garlic. Well, since I love garlic and put it on everything, I made it with fresh minced garlic but I got to tell ya – and this was a huge shocker for me – I actually prefer it without the garlic.

Somebody needs to write that down because it is the only time I have EVER felt that way and likely won’t ever again! Maybe what I love about the salad is that it is so very simple and the garlic just takes away from the feature flavors that make it so special.

Korean Cucumber Salad | A crisp and punchy Korean inspired cucumber salad recipe with green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar. Warning: this stuff is addicting! #korean #cucumbersalad


korean, cucumber, salad, recipe, asian, low carb, low calorie, keto, easy, crunchy, crispy, best, how to, japanese, english
salad, side dish, healhty, low carb, low calorie, keto, korean
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Author:
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Korean Cucumber Salad

Korean Cucumber Salad

A crisp and punchy Korean inspired cucumber salad recipe with green onions, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds tossed with a light, super simple – but absolutely perfect – dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce and a little sugar. Warning: this stuff is addicting!
Prep time: 5 MCook time: Total time: 5 M

Ingredients:

  • 2 English cucumbers (or Japanese)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Slice the unpeeled cucumbers and green onions then add to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Combine rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar then stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. When ready to serve (and not a minute before), toss cucumbers and onions with rice vinegar mixture and red pepper flakes.
  4. Top with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Notes:

Many Korean cucumber salads are a bit like a quick pickle in that the cucumbers marinate in the dressing and soften. I much prefer the cucumbers to stay crisp and fresh so I dress my salad just before serving.
Traditional Korean Cucumber Salad is made with Gochugaru, a Korean red chili powder, which is coarsely ground sundried Korean red peppers with a texture between flakes and powder. I’ve never been able to find it here (though is sounds divine!) so I just use crushed red pepper flakes (which I’m sure are nowhere near as good as the real deal).
Toasted or black sesame seeds are THE BEST in this since plain sesame seeds don’t have much flavor. I typically just toss some regular sesame seeds in a skillet and heat over medium heat until fragrant.
There really isn’t a substitute for the rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is verrrry mild and just a tiny bit sweet. To my knowledge there isn’t another type of vinegar that compares but I would say apple cider vinegar would come the closest. If you’ve never used it, you will fall in love with it once you’ve tried it so it is totally worth buying some. Because it’s so crisp and mild I constantly use it, especially in the summer. I often cut up a garden tomato, pickling cucumbers and/or Vidalia onions, toss with a little rice vinegar and serve with supper.
For keto-friendly or low-carb, substitute liquid aminos for the soy sauce and your favorite sweetener for the sugar.
Calories
38.76
Fat (grams)
0.35
Sat. Fat (grams)
0.07
Carbs (grams)
7.88
Fiber (grams)
0.84
Net carbs
7.04
Sugar (grams)
5.03
Protein (grams)
1.51
Sodium (milligrams)
441.56
Cholesterol (grams)
0.00
For a lower calorie, keto-friendly and low-carb version, substitute liquid aminos for the soy sauce and your favorite sweetener for the sugar.
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This recipe was shared at Meal Plan Monday!


5 comments:

  1. This was awesome, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Korean Cucumber Salad is wonderful, I have made it twice this week! Right now getting ready to go get more cucumbers. I used the English cucumbers and they were crisp and delightful. I also very much enjoyed leftover cucumbers that had marinated all night; full of flavor! Thanks Mandy!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are you trying keto? I just noticed your nutrition notes on this recipe. I am trying and am stuck. I don't completely understand it and I keep gaining and losing the same pound, getting nowhere. I have cut down on carbs, have upped vegetables, added in avocados and more boiled eggs. (I already cut out soda and sweet tea a long time ago, so I've drank even more water.) And upped exercise. So frustrating. I'm wondering if there is a trick or some magic thing to buy to kick start my body. Years ago, I lost weight doing low carb, but I'm 41 now and wondering if my body is officially broken and will no longer do normal things like lose weight with diet and exercise. Ugh. Hope you are having better results!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gave up on keto. I had the exact same experience as you. I lost a ton of weight years ago (when South Beach diet first came out). After recent years of trying and failing to lose weight I finally went to a medical doctor.

      She explained to me that most of us can lose weight with the keto method once, maybe twice but never again. She said any diet of super high fat (or sugar) really screws up our metabolism so weight loss is damn near impossible going forward until our metabolism is fixed.

      To fix mine I did a 2-week liquid diet (which is what folks prepping for bariatric surgery do). This sort of resets your system (enzymes, proteins, etc) like a reboot. Since then I have lost 35 pounds in under 5 months.

      You can google "bariatric liquid diet products" to find shakes, smoothies, fruit drinks, soups, etc. I did 2 weeks of all liquid (1 every 3 hours for 12 hours then a 12-hour fast) 5 days a week with 2 days of 3 liquids and one low-calorie, low-fat meal (there was no way I could have done all liquids that long and been successful which is why I altered my plan but many people can). I lost 17 pounds in 2 weeks. Now I have liquids during the day and pretty-much eat whatever I want for supper. I'm losing about 2 pounds a week doing it this way. I don't know if it's for everyone but this really works for me.

      Another thing I learned is that (according to my doctor) in women, every ounce of alcohol consumed (even if it's no or low carb) cancels out one pound of weight loss. There's some hormone we have (glucogon? or something) that the alcohol affects. I quit having my occasional G&T or Mich Ultra for about 6 weeks. Now I have a drink here or there but only if it's worth it (do I want this beer as much as I want to lose weight today?).

      I don't know if it was resetting my metabolism, doing the liquid diet, omitting the alcohol or if if was a combo off all three but whatever it is, this has worked for me and is still working.

      I actually enjoy many of the products. My favorites are the hot chocolate (which I mix in my coffee instead of sweetener and cream), the grapefruit fruit drink, the berries and cream smoothie/shake and the coffee smoothie/shake. It's nice not to have to overthink what I'm going to eat during the day. I just grab a pouch and go.

      Good luck!!

      Delete
    2. Thank you SO much for this detailed response! I had never heard this before. I am relieved to know I am not the only one having this problem! (And that is terrible news about the alcohol/beer!)

      Delete

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy