Cucumber and Carrot Salad (Asian inspired)

This colorful and crunchy cucumber and carrot salad is an Asian-inspired recipe. It’s a fresh and flavorful salad and a perfect side dish. This salad is ready to be served in 15 minutes.

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A cucumber and carrot salad is all I’m craving when the temperature starts rising. It’s not only easy to make, but it’s also easy to make ahead. I had a similar delicious salad in an Asian restaurant a few months ago and felt inspired to combine carrots with cucumbers.

CUCUMBER AND CARROT

For some reason, I don’t combine cucumbers and carrots unless it’s in a salad with many other ingredients. This quinoa summer salad could be great for combining cucumber and carrots. Yup, all these summers, I was missing out! Because with a good dressing, this simple combination is so delicious.

Closeup of cucumber and carrot ribbons

WHICH CUCUMBERS TO USE?

There are different kinds of cucumbers and carrots, but for this salad, you can keep it simple and use any cucumber or carrot you can find. But the best cucumber for this salad is a crispy one with a thin skin and seedless, like the Persian cucumbers. These cucumbers are almost seedless, mildly sweet, crisp, and not so watery.

Also, the European or English cucumber is a good option for this salad. These cucumbers are easy to find in any grocery store. While these cucumbers also have a thin skin and can be almost seedless, they are longer and a little less sweet than Persian cucumbers. But they are still crunchy and a good option for this salad.

This salad would be an excellent recipe if you can get your hands on a Japanese cucumber. Japanese cucumbers have a beautiful deep green skin and are long and relatively slender. They contain no seeds and are not bitter but delicate, sweet, and crunchy.

Cucumber and carrot salad sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds in a light brown bowl with a golden edge

INGREDIENTS

Cucumbers and carrots are the main star ingredient. Fresh, cold, and crispy are best for this recipe.

Neutral oils. A combination of grape and sesame seed oil is the perfect base for the dressing.
Rice vinegar. To give the dressing a tangy punch, a bit of rice vinegar is perfect for this Asian-inspired salad.
Maple syrup. This liquid sweetener is a great way to add a sweet flavor and balance out all flavors.
Soy sauce or tamari. Both options are a good way to give any dressing an umami flavor.
Black and white sesame seeds. These little seeds add a bit of crunch and a mild, sweet, and nutty flavor. Black sesame seeds have a stronger flavor than white sesame seeds. They give the salad an earthier taste and add an extra crunch.

Cucumber and carrot ribbons with the dressing in a light brown bowl on a light grey backdrop and a hand showing a small bowl with sesame seeds above the bowl


Salt. A little bit of salt brings out all the flavors.
Ginger powder. Ginger is a warming ingredient that contrasts the salad with all the cold, crunchy ingredients.
White pepper. Typically, in Asian cuisines, I noticed white pepper is being used instead of black pepper.

Ingredients for cucumber and carrot salad on a light grey backdrop in separate bowls and spoons and a large plate in the middle

HOW TO MAKE CUCUMBER AND CARROT SALAD (step-by-step)

Making this salad is straightforward with only 15 minutes and 3 simple steps. The main part is in preparing the cucumber and carrots and combining the ingredients for the dressing. After that, it’s as simple as drizzling the cucumber and carrot ribbons with the dressing. Toss together, and it’s ready to be served.

Step 1.
Clean the cucumber and carrots. For this salad, it’s best to use a julienne peeler to create ribbons—place the ribbons in a medium-sized bowl.

Cucumber and carrot ribbons in a light brown bowl on a light grey backdrop with a plate with cucumber and carrot ribbons and a small bowl with sesame seeds and soy sauce


Step 2.
In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk to combine.

Dressing ingredients mixed in a small white bowl with a small whisk in it on a light grey backdrop


Step 3.
Pour the dressing over the ribbons and stir gently to combine so all carrot and cucumber ribbons are covered with the dressing. Let the flavors develop for at least 10 minutes.

Cucumber and carrot ribbons in a light brown bowl on a light grey backdrop with the dressing on it and a small bowl with sesame seeds
Cucumber and carrot ribbons with the dressing in a light brown bowl with chopstick on a plate on a light grey backdrop and a hand with a small bowl with sesame seeds hoovering over it

TWO REASONS WHY THIS SALAD IS SO AMAZING

The first reason why this salad is so amazing is that the dressing pacts with so much flavor. It’s also easy to whisk up. Either in a bowl with a whisk or a glass with a lid (shake it well).

Another reason why this salad is so good is the cucumber and carrot ribbons. You could chop the cucumber and carrot or shred them, but a simple and inexpensive julienne peeler will create thin delicious, delicate ribbons. It results in an amazing salad with texture and a subtle crunch.

HOW TO SERVE THIS SALAD

This cucumber and carrot salad makes a great side dish, starter, or the base for a delicious lunch. Add some quinoa, roasted veggies, and baked tempeh for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Cucumber and carrot salad sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds in a light brown bowl on a light backdrop with a small white bowl with sesame seeds next to it

HOW TO STORE FOR LATER

It is best to enjoy this salad on the same day. And if you can, set the salad aside for at least 10 minutes so the flavors can develop.

If you want to keep this salad for later or if you have any leftovers, store the salad in the fridge (in a container with a lid) for up to 3-5 days. How long it stays crunchy and fresh depends on the freshness of the cucumber and carrots.

FINAL TIPS

Although this salad is as simple as it can be, I have some simple tips and tricks to make it even easier or give you a better option for your preferences (diet).

If you want to cut down the preparation time of this recipe, you can use shredded store-bought carrots and cucumbers.

To make this salad gluten-free, use tamari instead of soy sauce.

This salad is an excellent recipe to make ahead since it doesn’t contain any leafy greens that can wither. You can make and store the dressing, cucumbers, and carrots about 5 days before (depending on the freshness of the cucumber and carrots). To serve, combine the cucumber and carrot ribbons with the dressing.

When using European/English cucumbers for this salad and you find they contain a lot of seeds or if they are very water, feel free to remove the inside seeds.

If you want to make this salad oil-free, you can omit the oil and replace it with soy sauce or tamari. And if you wish to use any other oil, you can use any other neutral oil. Grapeseed oil is in general, the most neutral.

Cucumber and carrot ribbons with the dressing in a light brown bowl on a light grey backdrop and a hand showing some salad ribbons with wooden chopsticks above the bowl

For more delicious summer salad recipes, you may also want to try the following recipes:

If you are going to make this cucumber and carrot salad, let me know! Leave a comment, rate this recipe, and don’t forget to tag your photo on Instagram @thegreencreator #thegreencreator.

Cucumber and carrot salad sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds in a light brown bowl with a golden edge with pinterest text over the top
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Cucumber and carrot salad sprinkled with white and black sesame seeds in a light brown bowl on a white plate with two wooden chopsticks

Cucumber and Carrot Salad (Asian inspired)

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 24 (side) servings 1x
  • Category: salad, side dish
  • Method: julienne peeler
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This colorful and crunchy cucumber and carrot salad is an Asian-inspired recipe and a fresh and flavorful salad or side dish.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

Cucumbers and carrots
Wash and remove the skin of the carrots and remove the ends. Wash the cucumbers and remove the ends.
With a julienne peeler, slice the carrots and cucumbers into long ribbons. Combine the cucumber and carrot ribbons in a medium bowl and set aside.

Dressing
In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine the grape seed oil, vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, soy sauce, salt, ginger, and white pepper. Whisk to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper taste if needed.

Pour the dressing over the cucumber and carrot ribbons. Stir gently to combine, so all the ribbons are coated in the dressing.  Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the salad.

Let sit for at least 10 minutes in the fridge so the flavors can develop.


Notes

It is possible to make this salad oil-free. Omit the oil and replace it with soy sauce or tamari.
And if you wish to use any other oil, you can use any other neutral oil. Grapeseed oil is, in general, the most neutral.

To make this salad gluten-free, use tamari instead of soy sauce. Most kinds of vinegar are gluten-free.

If you want to add more heat to this salad, chili flakes will be a good option.

Keywords: asian salad, cucumber, carrot, side, main, lunch, dinner

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