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Chinese Cucumber Salad

It’s Valentine’s weekend and it’s also Chinese New Year, so a copy of a Chinese cucumber dish we tasted and loved in Hong Kong, with the cucumber cut into hearts, seems to tick both boxes. Of course chunks of cucumber will do just as well, but for those romantics among us, just get your smallest heart cutter out and get cutting. The dip is quick to make and is almost a thin hummus. What’s not to like? Pretty healthy too. 💕

Ingredients - makes approximately 20 small hearts

Half a large cucumber

1 garlic clove, mashed

1 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce (gluten free available)

Pinch dried chilli flakes


Sesame seeds

For the dip

50ml tahini

2 tsp soy sauce (gluten free available)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp dried cumin

1 tsp sesame oil

Warm water


Cut the cucumber into hearts with a small heart shaped cutter and scrape away the seeds, to leave neat shapes. Alternatively cut the cucumber into half, scoop out the seeds and cut into chunks.

Put the cucumber into a sieve and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 30 minutes.

Mix the mashed garlic, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce and chilli flakes together in a medium sized bowl.

Pat the cucumber dry and add it to the dressing in the bowl. Leave for at least another 30 minutes. The cucumber will get stronger in flavour, but will lose it crunchiness over time.

For the dip, spoon the tahini, soy, lemon juice, cumin and sesame oil into the small bowl of a food processor. Begin by adding 3 tablespoons of warm water and whizz together, adding more warm water until you get a smooth, dip-like consistency. Add a little more if you want to make a salad dressing.

The cucumber also works really well as a salad without the dip.

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