I love pickles. Crunchy, cold, dill kosher spears are my favorite although I usually try to refrain from buying them as I can go through a jar in no time at all. And we can’t forget about Minnesota Sushi (ham & pickle roll-up) which is a favorite in our house and the midwest. :) This salad resembles pickles. It is crunchy and flavorful, spicy¬†and healthy, easily making it my new favorite “pickle.” I’ve made it three times in the last few weeks and I’ve got three cucumbers in the fridge currently waiting to soak in the vinegar tub.

This salad is great not only because of the spicy, fresh flavor but also because it can be made ahead of time which makes it perfect for busy nights or an easy salad to bring to parties. The recipe was adapted from a Thai Cookbook my Mom has after she made this salad and I had something similar earlier this summer. I was instantly smitten.

I tried made it with agave instead of the sugar and it was just as delicious, so if you’re into it, make the swap!

Spicy Thai Cucumbers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 english cucumber (or 3 small cucumbers)
  • 2 small hot chiles (1 if you don't like spice)
  • 3 Tbsp minced onion


  1. Combine water, sugar and vinegar in small pan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
  3. Pour mixture over cucumbers, chiles and onion.
  4. Stir to combine and chill overnight.
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15 Comments (Reply )

  1. Nicole
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    Mmm, just had a similar salad for lunch on Saturday at a restaurant in Washington DC, so good!!


  2. Jamie
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    I LOVE cucumber salads. Seriously one of my fave things ever! :) good idea on agave vs. sugar…


  3. Regan @ The Professional Palate
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    a fresh from the farmer’s market cucumber is truly one of my favorite things about summer… this recipe sounds divine.


  4. Katie
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    I love cucumbers! So refreshing! Have you ever put them in water and let them soak overnight? Reminds me of a spa. I love this recipe and that it is so easy. Great side dish. Thanks for sharing! :)


    • Emily
      Sep 12, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

      I do love cucumber-water!!! Need to make it more often!


  5. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

    Cucumber salads are the best! I’ve only had sweet versions though – I like the idea of making them spicy!


  6. Estela @ Weekly Bite
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    This is one of my favorite salads! Love the addition of the chili’s!


  7. Katie@Real Food Katie's Way
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    OH MY MY MY! I am madly in love with cucumbers…and pickles…I too could go through a jar in a day…Sweet are my favorite…Obviously because I’ve got the biggest sweet tooth on the face of the planet…But garlic dill pickles take a very close second….

    My mouth is watering like crazy!! I guess I need to go drink more tea ;)


  8. Katie@Cozydelicious
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    I’m making this RIGHT NOW to have with dinner tomorrow! I was planning to make ‘fried’ rice and this will be a perfect side!


  9. Alyse
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    Mm love the addition of spice. I don’t like cucumbers except in salads like this one, where they turn into crunchy spicy vinegar-y goodness.


  10. Maris (In Good Taste)
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    Sounds delicious, I love cucumbers!


  11. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 6:13 am

    Looks fresh and delicious!! I’ve been wondering what the heck to do with all these cucs from the farmer’s market…! :)


  12. Frank
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    Natalie makes this sometimes. You are right. It’s really good. Her (not-so) secret ingredient is fish sauce.


  13. Megan (Braise The Roof)
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

    I love cucumber salads like this! I love ordering them at sushi restaurants (usually called cucumber sunomono) but I have one that I make too- I add crushed peanuts for garnish- yum!


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