Inspired by Din Tai Fung’s chilled cucumber salad, these cold spicy cucumber bites are salty, sweet, and spicy, all at the same time. They make a great started, side dish, or snack.
Are you looking for another great summer recipe? Then you have to check this one out!
This dish is all about cucumbers, which I prefer eating over “drier” raw vegetables like carrots or broccoli. They are light, have a satisfying crunch, and are also refreshing to eat. These Cold Spicy Cucumber Bites have all those qualities with the bonus of being being salty, sweet, and spicy, too!
This recipe was inspired by Din Tai Fung’s Cucumber Salad in Vinaigrette Dressing. Din Tai Fung is a famous restaurant with locations world-wide, their specialty being their Xiao Long Bao, or soup dumplings. The restaurant originated in Taiwan, and while their Xiao Long Bao is some of the best you will ever have, they also have a large menu with many other appetizing choices.
However, while my recipe is based on Din Tai Fung’s Cucumber Salad, their dish it isn’t quite what I’d call a salad. It’s a bunch of sliced cucumbers that have been marinated. However, what ever you think the definition of a salad is, their Cucumber Salad is mighty tasty and is one of my favorite things to eat there.
I decided to try and make a variation of these cucumbers at home so I could enjoy it whenever I want. Luckily, they’re really easy to make and they’re also a lot cheaper than in the restaurant!
These cucumber bites make a great side dish or appetizer to a meal. They also pair nicely with dumplings, chicken wings, or other small bites. Alternatively, they make a nice simple lunch, all by themselves if I’m looking for something really light.
Admittedly, cucumbers on their own can be a bit bland. But when they’re left to marinade in this sauce for a while, they become really flavorful. That’s one thing I learned in developing this Cold Spicy Cucumber Bites recipe. If you don’t let the cucumbers marinate long enough, the flavor won’t be as satisfying. So when you make these cucumber bites, know that you need a bit of patience before you can enjoy them…but it will be worth it!
These also go really well with shredded cooked chicken if you want a bit more substance to the dish. Shred up some cooked chicken meat and let it hang out with the cucumbers in the marinade. Then use them to top a plate of greens, sprinkle some sliced almonds and sesame seeds on top, and you’ve got a really nice Asian style salad! There is no dressing needed as it’s all in the marinade!
Alternatively, if you are a bit more adventurous, these go great with jellyfish. I know…the thought of jellyfish is eliciting a whole bunch of EEWs from some of you out there. If you’re Chinese, though, you’ve most likely grown up eating some of that weird stuff, which is actually quite good! Anyway, it’s not for everyone, I know, and that’s why I’ve omitted any photos of these cucumbers with jellyfish. But just in case, know that adding jellyfish to this recipe is also a winner! 😉
Whether you eat these on their own, or use them to top a salad, you definitely want to try these Cold Spicy Cucumber Bites. Especially with the warmer weather, it is the perfect light, tasty, and refreshing dish! Give them a try and leave a comment below!
Cold Spicy Cucumber Bites
- 1 English cucumber (or 3-4 Persian cucumbers)
- Kosher or sea salt
- 3 tbs rice vinegar
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 tbs mirin
- 1 tbs sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
- Whisk marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Slice cucumber into slices, about 3/4" (less than 2cm) thick.
- Mix cucumber slices with salt and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Rinse cucumber slices and pat dry.
- Mix cucumbers with dressing and refrigerate for at least 4 hours for optimal flavor. Stir occasionally. (The longer you leave them to marinate, the better the flavor.)
- Serve chilled.
If you make this dish and want to share your photo on Facebook or Instagram, be sure to tag me @dayinthekitchen and I’ll leave a comment!
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