This salad is the best of both worlds: a combination of cooling cucumbers and a spicy kick from crushed red peppers. Cooling cucumber salad is perfect for hot days and late night snacks, with a light flavor profile, tart dressing and crunchy texture.
The best part? The longer you let it sit, the better the salad tastes. After you’ve made it once, alter it slightly to see what you like better — more or less soy sauce, more or less sesame oil. You can use regular cucumbers or crispier, crunchier Persian cucumbers.
If this yields a bigger batch of cucumber salad than you can reasonably eat, you can toss it with pasta for a cold, cucumber-noodle salad that will repurposes perfectly into lunch-friendly leftovers.
- 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
- 4 cups thinly sliced seeded cucumber
- Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cucumber; toss to coat.
To make a spicy pasta dish: Increase sesame seeds to three tablespoons; add one cup thinly sliced green onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Combine seeds and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Cut 1 (9-ounce) package fresh linguine into thirds; cook according to directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Toss pasta with cucumber mixture.