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Crunchy Sesame Cucumber Salad

This salad is perfect for those hot summer days. It’s crunchy, refreshing and packed with flavour. The cucumber gets tossed in a delicious toasted sesame dressing before being served over creamy whipped tahini and topped with crispy onions – yum!

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the salad:

  • 400g baby cucumber
  • 2 tsp salt
  • sprinkle crispy onions

For the sesame dressing:

  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (white and/or black)
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Korean red pepper flakes, optional (or half the amount of regular chilli flakes)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

For the whipped tahini:

  • 100g good-quality tahini (see Notes)
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 75ml cold water

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry the baby cucumbers. Place one baby cucumber between two chopsticks and make thin vertical slices. Flip and make thin diagonal slices. Repeat with the remaining cucumbers.
  2. Place the cucumbers in a large bowl. Add the salt, toss gently to coat and transfer to a large sieve to drain while you prepare the dressing.
  3. Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast, shaking the pan occasionally, for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Transfer to a mortar and pound with a pestle until half of the seeds are crushed into a paste. Add the sesame oil, light soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, korean red pepper flakes and ginger and whisk until well-combined, adding a tablespoon or two of water to loosen. Set aside until ready to use.
  5. Finally, whisk the tahini and toasted sesame oil until smooth, then add the water and whisk again until smooth. It will split and look like it won’t emulsify but trust the process! After a couple of minutes, it will come together in a thick, creamy sauce. Season with salt, to taste, and set aside.
  6. Rinse the cucumbers with cold water to completely remove the salt, then drain. Toss the cucumbers with 3 to 4 tbsp of the dressing.
  7. To assemble, spread the whipped tahini onto a large plate or platter. Top with the cucumbers and finish with any remaining dressing and a sprinkle of crispy onions, then serve and enjoy.

Notes

Not all tahini is created equal. Poor-quality tahini is thick, clumpy, gritty, and bitter. Good-quality tahini is smooth, pourable and balanced, not bitter. Where possible, I recommend avoiding supermarket own-brand tahini and opting for Middle-Eastern versions instead. Some of my favourite tahini brands are Baracke, Al Nakhil, Al Taj and Belazu.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram, tagging @zenaskitchen. I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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K Pat
4 months ago

Easy to make and has an addictive flavor—slighty spicy/sweet/savory/nutty.

Love it!

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