The Everyday Chef: Spicy Asian-Inspired Cucumber Appetizer

Andrew Dole, RDN, CEC
Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies—More Matters

Andrew Dole, Everyday Chef, Fruits & Veggies-More Matters

The Everyday Chef: Spicy Asian-Inspired Cucumber Appetizer. Fruits And Veggies More

The poor cucumber. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride! This versatile veggie seems to always get stuck being put into a salad of some kind. Not this time! The cucumber takes center stage with this Asian-inspired spicy appetizer.

Truth be told, my wife liked this recipe so much I ended up having to make a second batch. It went well spooned over steamed rice, made an excellent dressing for mixed greens (yes, I put it into a salad), and turned out to be an addictive munchy-like appetizer.

Don’t get scared by the ingredient list. The only thing tricky to find is the Chinkiang black vinegar, but a quick trip to any Asian market solves that problem for an entire year! Everything else is found easily in your local grocery store.

If you want to use a regular garden cucumber with this recipe, I suggest scooping out the seeds. But look for Persian or Kirby cucumbers. They’re a bit firmer, which works well for this recipe, and they’ll hold up for a few days in the refrigerator sitting in the tasty sauce.

Spicy Asian-Inspired Cucumber Appetizer Recipe
Serves 6
60 Calories per serving


1 medium – English Cucumbers
¼ cup – Chinkiang Vinegar
1 tsp – Toasted Sesame OIl
1 tsp – Chili Flavored Oil, Hot
2 tbsp – Granulated Sugar
0.25 tsp – Coarse Kosher Salt
1 tsp – Roasted Sesame Seeds
½ tsp – Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
0.25 cup – Dry Roasted Peanuts, Unsalted, crushed
2 tbsp – Cilantro, Raw, Torn


  1. Combine vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, sugar, and salt. Mix well and dissolve sugar.
  2. Add cucumber and stir to coat.
  3. Mix 1/2 of sesame seeds, red pepper flake into cucumber.
  4. Top with peanuts and cilantro.
  5. At service, garnish with remaining sesame seed and red pepper.

Nutrient Analysis:
Calories: 60 Protein: 2 g Carbs: 7 g
Total Fat: 3 g Sat Fat: 0.42 g Sodium: 154mg
Fiber: 0.55 g

Photo Credit: Andrew Dole

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