Create an image of a vibrant, appetizing Thai cucumber salad. The salad should be in a beautiful, modern bowl, showcasing thinly sliced cucumbers, julienned carrots, red onion, and fresh cilantro. Add

Savor the Flavors! How to Make a Spicy Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai cuisine is lauded worldwide for its vibrant flavors and well-balanced dishes that incorporate a delightful mix of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy elements. One dish that perfectly embodies this harmonious blend is the Thai Cucumber Salad or “Tam Tang.” This refreshing and spicy salad is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a feast for the eyes, making it an excellent addition to any meal.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and guarantees a burst of flavors in every bite.


To prepare this mouthwatering Thai Cucumber Salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed (optional)


Step 1: Prepare the Vegetables

Start by washing the cucumbers thoroughly. You can peel them if preferred, but leaving the skin on adds extra crunch and nutrients. Thinly slice the cucumbers and place them in a large salad bowl. Next, thinly slice the red onion and add it to the same bowl. Chop the fresh cilantro and mint leaves and mix them with the cucumbers and onions. For a spicier kick, thinly slice a red chili pepper and include it in the mix. If you prefer less spice, you can remove the seeds from the chili pepper before slicing.

Step 2: Make the Dressing

In a separate small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Whisk these ingredients together until the sugar is fully dissolved and the mixture is well combined. The flavor of the dressing should be a balanced mix of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences.

Step 3: Combine and Toss

Pour the prepared dressing over the cucumber mixture in the salad bowl. Toss everything together gently to ensure the vegetables are evenly coated with the dressing. Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. This resting time allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.

Step 4: Serve and Garnish

Transfer the Thai Cucumber Salad to a serving dish. If desired, sprinkle some crushed roasted peanuts on top for an added crunch and nutty flavor. Garnish with extra cilantro and mint leaves to make the dish visually appealing. Serve the salad chilled as a refreshing side dish or as a light appetizer. It pairs wonderfully with a variety of Thai dishes, including grilled meats, seafood, and rice.

Tips and Variations

This Thai Cucumber Salad is highly versatile, and you can adjust it to suit your taste or dietary preferences. Here are a few tips and variations:

  • Vegetables: You can add other vegetables like thinly sliced carrots, bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes for additional color and nutrients.
  • Protein: For a more substantial meal, consider adding grilled shrimp, chicken, or tofu to the salad.
  • Vegan Option: Replace the fish sauce with a vegan fish sauce or add a bit more soy sauce and a touch of seaweed for that umami flavor.
  • Sugar: Palm sugar can be used instead of granulated sugar for a more authentic Thai flavor.
  • Levels of Heat: Adjust the amount of chili pepper to your preference, or use a milder variety if you’re sensitive to spice.

This Thai Cucumber Salad is a refreshing and spicy dish that brings a burst of vibrant flavors to your table. It’s perfect for warm days when you crave something light yet flavorful. Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of this classic Thai recipe!

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