There is nothing better in the middle of summer than a cold salad to cool you down. And this spicy Korean cucumber salad does just that. Cucumbers and radishes tossed in a spicy gochujang dressing. Y’all know I am ready to chow on this because it is too dang hot!
It is salad season! Are you ready for it?
I mean, my Instagram name is The Cutting Veg, so you know I was born ready! I have a feeling that this summer is going to be the summer of the dinner salad. It’s not even warm yet, and yet, I am already experimenting with all kinds of salads.
What a time to be alive.
But what constitutes a salad anyway? There was a Bon Appetit podcast I listened to that said a salad had to have a raw element and a dressing, but honestly who knows. This kind of debate (like the one that asks whether tacos/hot dogs count as sandwiches) are the ones that make my head spin.
But anyways, this salad is the easiest, most delicious thing I have made to date. As a future economist, I try to find recipes that have maximal marginal return in terms of flavor for every ounce of work I put in…. And
I have a lot of good salad recipes on my blog, but I love this one because this recipe takes only 10 minutes to prepare. Not to mention it is one of those recipes that gets better as it sits in the fridge. And I am a lazy cook half the time, so this fits the bill for me.
For this spicy Korean cucumber salad, we start with chopped english cucumbers, radishes, and sugar snap peas. There is not a lot of love for radishes in salads, but I personally love that crunch factor you get from these little guys. Feel free to use any mix of the three.
We then make this spicy gochujang dressing that is out of this world good. Gochujang is a spicy hot paste used in Korean cooking. I get mine at the Asian grocery store or at Whole Foods (I love this brand) but feel free to use the substitutions listed below in the recipe if you can’t find it. Then just toss the veg in the dressing, sprinkle with cilantro and sesame, and you’re DONE.
How easy was that?
I love serving this salad with brown rice and/or cauliflower rice and a protein of choice. It is insanely good with salmon or tofu, but feel free to eat with eggs, chicken, or whatever. I’ve also been known to eat it straight as a late night snack, but you just do you!
10 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
15 minTotal Time
- 2 heaping tablespoons gochujang (or 1 tablespoon miso paste + 1 tablespoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 english cucumber, sliced lengthwise into quarters and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 12 radishes, cut into quarters
- 15-20 sugar snap peas, chopped (or 4-5 more radishes)
- 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
- handful chopped cilantro + mint
Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl, thinning with 1/2-1 tablespoon of water, if desired. Season with salt to taste.
add sesame seeds to a small skillet over medium heat. toast until golden. add chopped cucumber, radish, snap peas (if using), scallions, and cilantro into the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat, setting aside a bit of the cilantro, mint, and scallion. when ready to serve, top with toasted sesame and the reserved scallion, mint, and cilantro. EAT