Thai Cucumber Salad

This refreshing Thai cucumber salad features red pepper, cashews and cilantro, covered in a vinaigrette made with Thai red curry paste.

Thai Cucumber Salad with Cashews | A Couple Cooks

Our garden started out strong this year, but by the time growing season was in full swing, aside from herbs all we’ve gotten are cucumbers! So before cucumber season is gone, here’s a recipe we whipped up on a whim one night: Thai cucumber salad! It’s slightly spicy from the red curry paste, and a wonderful jumble of textures with the crunchy cucumbers and cashews. It’s a lovely end of summer salad before we (gulp) say hello to squash and pumpkin spices.

Thai Cucumber Salad with Cashews | A Couple Cooks

How to make Thai cucumber salad

This Thai cucumber salad is very simple to make: the only time investment is chopping the vegetables! For the cucumbers, we like the look of peeling off alternating strips of cucumber skin and leaving small strips on: it makes for a fun variegated pattern! Here the cucumbers are seeded and then chopped into half moons. The other fresh ingredients to chop are bell peppers and cilantro. And if you don’t have a go to method for cutting, we have a few great video tutorials to help!

Video: How to cut a bell pepper

Are you wondering how to cut a bell pepper but not sure the best way? Alex and I use a genius method for cutting bell peppers that doesn’t end up with seeds all over the counter! (Anyone have that issue?) We use this method all the time, like with this Thai cucumber salad. Here’s our step by step guide for how to cut a bell pepper, including a video of me cutting bell peppers in our kitchen.

And aside from this, we also have a video on How to Cut Cilantro that shows an easy way to chop this herb as well.

Related: 20 Knife Skills Videos: How to Cut Everything!

A secret ingredient: Thai curry paste

Outside of chopping the vegetables, the only other thing to prepare for this Thai cucumber salad is the Thai curry vinaigrette! It’s a simple mix of white wine vinegar, peanut oil, and Thai red curry paste. Thai curry paste has beautifully fresh flavors: garlic, lemongrass, and ginger. Grab a jar from the store in the international aisle, and it keeps for months in the refrigerator. Some Thai curry pastes are spicy and some don’t have too much heat. Our favorite brand of Thai curry paste is Thai Kitchen, and it doesn’t add much heat to the overall dish. If you can’t find it at your local grocery, here’s a link to Thai Kitchen red curry paste on Amazon.

Thai Cucumber Salad with Cashews | A Couple Cooks

Cucumber salads from around the world

Alex and I love cucumber salads: it seems like each nation has their own version! Somehow along the way we’ve made four different versions of cucumber salad. Here are a few we’ve enjoyed:

  • Shepherd salad from Turkey features tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and olives, covered in a lemony vinaigrette.
  • Greek salad uses much of the same ingredients, but arranged in a flat layer on a plate.
  • Cucumber salad with sour cream is traditionally Polish, featuring shallots, dill and a sour cream dressing.
  • German cucumber salad features thinly sliced cucumbers and onions marinated in vinegar.

Want more with cucumbers? See Top Cool Cucumber Recipes.

This recipe is…

This Thai cucumber salad recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Thai Cucumber Salad

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This refreshing Thai cucumber salad features red pepper, cashews and cilantro, covered in a vinaigrette made with Thai red curry paste.


  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • ¼ to cup cashew halves


  1. Peel the cucumbers in alternating strips. Cut them in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon, then cut each half into crescent shapes. Season with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and drain the slices in a colander while preparing the remainder of the salad. Then pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
  2. Dice the red pepper. Thinly slice the green onions. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar. peanut oil, Thai red curry paste, and a few pinches of kosher salt. Place the vegetables in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Garnish with cashew halves. (Note: The salad is best served fresh. If prepared in advance, keep the cucumbers, cashews and dressing separate from other vegetables, then mix them together at the time of serving.)
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Thai Inspired

Keywords: Thai cucumber salad, Cucumber Salad Recipe, Salad Recipes, Cucumber Recipes,

Looking for more salad recipes?

Outside of this Thai cucumber salad, here are a few more of our favorite salad recipes:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    September 16, 2015 at 8:09 am

    This looks amazing! I love anything Thai but especially salad!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2015 at 9:45 am

    This looks so fresh, delicious, and crunch-tastic! Unfortunately, cucumbers were the one thing in our garden that completely died out, so I’ll have to snag some store-bought ones to make this. I’m sure it’ll still be fantastic, though!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Yum! This looks so good! For real, I am going to make this tonight!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I never know what to do with cucumbers. They’re always just an auxiliary vegetable for me- something to throw into salads if I have them, but never interesting enough to buy. It looks like I’m really missing out with my lack of cucumber enthusiasm. I’ll have to give this a go.

  • Reply
    Sarah | Well and Full
    September 16, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I love cucumber salads! They’re always so refreshing. But sometimes they can be a little bland so I love the curry paste in this recipe :)

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    September 20, 2015 at 5:18 am

    Cucumbers have never looked more appetizing to me than they do in these pictures. What a clever salad! Definitely saving this one. And I love the new website design too.

  • Reply
    Julie @ Cooks with Cocktails
    September 22, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    This looks right up my alley! I love Thai flavors and this one looks so original and delish. I want to try it stat! Love that you mixed cucumbers and cashews :)

  • Reply
    Tina Elm
    September 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Modified this recipe so It would make two servings. I also added chopped rotisserie chicken breast that that I had leftover
    (hubby is a meat lover!). I stumbled onto this blog because I thought it was a “cooking for two” blog. So far I have been able to adjust all the recipes to keep from having too many leftovers. Love the style of writing, makes it very easy to follow. I also appreciate the recipes not having hard to find ingredients. Thanks.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Made this as part of dinner tonight. So delicious!!!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    This looks delicious and I love that there are so few ingredients needed! Thank you for sharing, I’ll be giving this beautiful salad a try! :)

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