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Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts

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Peanuts add welcome crunch to this tangy and refreshing Thai cucumber salad.

Thai cucumber salad with peanuts in a bowl.

This fresh and crunchy Thai cucumber salad adapted from Food & Wine is one of my favorite salad recipes. The juice from the cucumbers seeps into the tangy and sweet dressing, giving it a refreshing cucumber flavor, while the peanuts add protein and crunch. The salad is satisfying on its own for lunch, and it also pairs nicely with my grilled Thai curry chicken or honey lime sriracha chicken.

What you’ll need to make Thai cucumber salad with Peanuts

Salad ingredients including red onion, fish sauce, and lime.

  • The recipe calls for English/hothouse cucumbers, long, slender cukes with tender skin and tiny seeds. They’re a little pricier than garden variety cukes, but you can usually find them on sale in three-packs. Happily, they don’t need to be peeled, as they aren’t treated with a wax coating like regular cucumbers.
  • Fish sauce is a salty, savory condiment often used in East Asian cuisine. It has a pungent smell, but when used in moderation, it adds rich umami flavor to sauces, marinades, and salad dressings. You can find it in the Asian food section of most supermarkets.
  • Use good quality Virginia peanuts if you can find them. Grown primarily in Virginia (but also in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas), Virginia peanuts are large in size, flavorful, and extra crunchy. They are often referred to as “ballpark peanuts” because they are the kind sold at baseball games.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by placing the red onions in a bowl of cold water. Let them soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients — this will mellow them out and rid them of that sharp, raw onion taste.

Sliced red onions in a bowl of water.

Next, seed the cucumbers by cutting the cucumbers it in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds and the pulpy matter with a teaspoon.

Seeded cucumbers on a marble countertop.

Make the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, fish sauce, sugar and garlic in a medium bowl.

thai cucumber salad dressing

Drain the onions, then add the sliced cucumbers, minced jalapeño, cilantro and peanuts to the bowl with the dressing.

Thai cucumber salad ingredients added to dressing

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

mixed thai cucumber salad

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Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts

Peanuts add welcome crunch to this tangy and refreshing Thai cucumber salad.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 20 Minutes


For the Salad

  • ½ medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 large English cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick
  • ⅓ cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup salted peanuts
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (or use 1-2 Thai chiles for more heat)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice, from 2-3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  1. Place the onions in a small bowl of cold water. Let sit for ten minutes, then drain well and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, oil, fish sauce, sugar, and garlic.
  3. Add the drained red onions, cucumbers, cilantro, peanuts and jalapeño pepper to the dressing. Taste and add the salt if necessary. Serve the salad within 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 238
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Sugar: 12g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Sodium: 660mg
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Yummmmmmmy! Just made this and it taste just like a proper Thai restaurant’s salad. You nailed it. Don’t change this recipe one bit. It’s delicious!!!

    • — Angela Cowardin on March 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • I have made this Thai Cucumber Salad with Peanuts twice and it was a big winner both times. It’s a perfect side dish for Char Su Chicken with Jasmine Rice, or other Thai recipes on this website.

    • — Carolyn H. on February 22, 2024
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  • This recipe is tops for flavor and ease of putting it together! I made it to go with a Thai Shrimp Curry and it was perfect!! As always, your recipes do not disappoint!! Had leftovers the next day – and while the crunch was less, it was still super tasty!!

    • — Heather H. on February 9, 2024
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  • Hi Jenn…. this recipe sounds sublime. I would like to make it for up and coming dinner party but one friend is allergic to fish / fish sauce. Can you suggest a substitute for the fish sauce?

    • — meg taylor on August 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Meg, You can use soy sauce instead — the salad will lack that traditional Thai flavor, but will still be good. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • Is there anything that can be substituted for the fish sauce for those who are allergic? Thanks!

    • — Kathleen on May 4, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Kathleen, You can use soy sauce instead — the salad won’t have that traditional Thai flavor, but it will still taste great!

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2023
      • Reply
  • This salad is absolutely delicious! Even my husband loved it and he’s not a salad guy. 5 stars!

    • — Mary Miller on May 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • Really liked this recipe, I’m fond of cucumber, skin on variety.

    • — Tom B on March 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Love this salad and plan to make it for a book club dinner side – what is my best approach to get as much done early in the day? I see in another comment you said that the dressing will last four days, so I’ll do that in advance. Is it okay to chop everything in the morning and then combine right before?

    • — Debra on March 28, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Debra, Yes that’s fine!

      • — Jenn on March 30, 2023
      • Reply

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