Special Diet - Created Date : 23.8.2019
Asian Sesame Cucumber Salad
There’s been a common theme in my house recently, of meals that require no heat to make. No roasting, sauteing, boiling, frying… nothing. The less heat, and less work required, the better. Which means tubs of ice cream are my best friend, but also, vegetables, because balance. Too hot to cook + lazy = noshing on whole cucumbers and calling it a meal.
Side note: have you ever noticed how thirst quenching it is to eat a cucumber? They’re like edible water bottles. Wait a minute… you guys… EDIBLE WATER BOTTLES. Why haven’t we done this yet?! Saving the environment by eating things? Yes please! (Okay, be honest with me, am I a genius or does this already exist and I’m just late to the party? Because, really, that’s usually the case, or else I’d be mega rich from inventing all kinds of things that already exist.)
But I digress — let’s get back to the vegetables, here.
I am a huge fan of eating veggies just as they are, but let’s face it, they get boring pretty quick. Enter, cucumber salad. But not just any ol’ cucumber salad — spiralized, noodly, sweet and tangy sesame vinaigrette cucumber salad.
This is one of those things you can throw together on a daily basis, because besides the cucumber, everything in it is just a pantry staple. Crunchy, refreshing, flavorful, and it doesn’t threaten my chances of winning laziest person of the year award? Score!
If zucchini noodles are called zoodles, does that make cucumber noodles… coodles? Cukels?
If you don’t have a spiralizer, you could certainly slice your cucumbers into thin strips or rounds instead… but trust me, cumboodles are far more fun to eat. (Okay, seriously, we need a better name for these. Got suggestions? Leave ’em in the comments.)
Update: for those of you wanting to know (I get asked all the time) this is the spiralizer I use: Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Vegetable Slicer. I chose this one because it comes with multiple blades, which store within the unit itself. It’s a little bit bulky for storing, but so far I’ve been happy with it!
I wasn’t joking when I said I’ve been eating whole cucumbers as a snack, but now, this salad has been my afternoon, heat-of-the-day go-to. It’s like I’m on a crazy cucumber kick. I haven’t been this obsessed since I went through my pickle phase of 1998. (Kosher dill for the win, yo!)
I recently met someone who told me, they don’t *like* cucumbers. Wha’? How is that possible? I want to know, do you like cucumbers, and if so, what’s your favorite way to eat them?
½-1 TBSP toasted sesame seeds (I used white and black, but either would work fine on their own)
1 scallion, sliced
2 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
If you have a spiralizer, use it to cut the cucumbers and carrots into long noodles. (My carrots weren't big enough to fit in my spiralizer, so I used a jullienne peeler instead -- if you don't have a spiralizer, a tool like this will do in a pinch, or you can slice the carrots and cucumber thinly with a knife.)
Place the spiralized cucumber into a strainer and toss with 1 tsp. kosher salt. Let the cucumber drain for 15-20 minutes to remove excess water.
Once the cucumber has drained for a bit, spread it onto a layer of paper towels, or a clean dish towel, and gently pat out as much moisture as you can. Place the "noodles" into a large bowl, and add 2-3 TBSP dressing, to coat. Toss to combine, then garnish with additional sesame seeds, sliced scallions, and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately. (Leftover salad can be stored in an airitight container in the fridge for up to a day, but keep in mind that the cucumber will continue to release excess water as it sits. If your salad becomes soupy, you can drain the water from the bottom of the bowl before eating.)
Honey can be replaced with maple syrup or other liquid sweetener, if you wish to make this salad vegan.
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74 Responses to Asian Sesame Cucumber Salad
This salad sounds so good! Such a perfect thing to eat when it’s too hot to even go near the stove. I’m jealous of your cucumbers — our CSA has only been giving us lemon cucumbers, which are 90% seeds, and therefore very hard to spiralize or julienne. Must go find some big cucumbers!
Thanks, Eileen! This salad does requires a less watery, less seedy type of cucumber, but it is definitely worth picking some up from the store. I bet your lemon cucumbers would work perfectly in another thing I love to make to beat the heat, though — cucumber water! Just put a large pitcher of water in the fridge with a bunch of sliced cucumber, and maybe a slice or two of lemon. When you pour water out for drinking, add more fresh water to refill, and replace the cucumber and lemon slices every few days. SO crisp and refreshing! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend. :)
Dang, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing, Sara. I wonder how sturdy those are, though — doesn’t seem like something you could throw in your purse and go walking around town with. Cucumber, 1, molecular gastronomy, 0. (But not really, because molecular gastronomy scores major points for being so mind blowing. Cucumbers, not so much.) :P
Hi Sandrea! The one I have is the Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer — I got it on Amazon, and love it. It works well, cleans up fairly easily, and the blades store underneath it. The only downside is it takes up a bit of space to store, but other than that it’s great. Hope that helps!
I went with the paderno primarily because someone else I knew had one and loved it, and also it was the best seller with many positive reviews. I haven’t tried any of the others, so I can’t really compare. The designs look pretty similar, though, so my guess is they are all pretty comparable. (I was tempted by the handheld kind, simply because it’s so much smaller than the counter-top variety, but decided against it because it looked like more work to use and clean.)
Hi Marla! I don’t peel them. I like to use English (also known as hothouse) cucumbers, which have a very pleasant skin. If you’re using a cucumber that has a very waxy or bitter skin, you can certainly peel them first, but if you can find the English ones I recommend those, as they have less water content and won’t water down the dressing as much. Hope that helps!
This was a great recipes! I’m with ya…I absolutely love cucumbers. Sometimes I just cut one up, squeeze a lime over it and I’m good to go.i also love cucumbers and onions with vinegar, sugar and dill….amazing
Hi Patty — wonderful, I hope you like the salad! If you’re wanting to stick to Asian flavors, or a light and healthy theme, you could go with this simple Miso Soup, or these Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce. Otherwise, I’d say you could serve it with just about anything! Grilled chicken and veggies on the side would be great for a heartier meal, or a grain like rice pilaf or this Malaysian Quinoa dish. I hope that helps!
Hi Bobbie! I have not tried using zucchini in this particular recipe, but I bet it would work well! I’ve spiralized zucchini for other recipes, and while it has more texture and flavor than cucumber, I’m sure it would still be delicious here. Hope that helps!
Hi Kathrine! I’m not sure exactly what aspects of the nutritional info you’re looking for, but cucumbers and carrots are very low in calories (maybe 20-30 calories a piece?), and so are most of the other ingredients. Most of the calories in this recipe come from the honey (65 calories per TBSP, and you can adjust the amount to taste), and the toasted sesame seeds and oil (1 tsp. of the sesame oil is about 40 calories, and 1 TBSP sesame seeds is about 50 calories). The exact nutritional info will vary a bit depending on the size and sweetness of your vegetables, and how much honey you use. You can get more specific info on each ingredient by doing a google search like “nutritional information honey” or whatever ingredient you want to know more about. I hope that helps!
How long can you store this? I make my salads in order to take them to work every day. Is this a one day recipe or can it be stored for a week? I put my salads in mason jars and take them to work each day.
I would suggest eating this salad right away, because the cucumbers will release a lot of liquid and water down the dressing, making it bland and a little soupy. That said, you could keep the cucumber noodles in one jar, and the dressing in another, then when you’re ready to eat, just drain any liquid off the noodles before adding the dressing. I hope that helps!
Attempted this a few weeks back – the noodles never drained enough to consider using them. I may have used too small a blade in the spiralizer, though. Wish I hadn’t given up, but I was not about to experiment further given the price of Seedless Cucumbers these days – I was already into the dish for $8 when I pitched the noodles!
Hi Cops — I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you! I’m surprised the noodles didn’t drain enough, I haven’t encountered that problem myself. And I’m extra sorry to know they cost so much where you live — English cucumbers here are maybe 50 cents a piece or so. It’s always a major bummer when an expensive ingredient doesn’t work out!
Hi Ann! There are two kinds of sesame oil – plain sesame oil is light in color and has very little flavor, while toasted sesame oil is dark brown in color and has a very strong sesame flavor. You can typically find toasted sesame oil in the international or Asian aisle of the grocery store. As for the sesame seeds themselves, you can toast them quickly in a dry pan over low heat until lightly golden to bring out the flavor, or you can use them raw. They’re good either way. I hope that helps, and have fun with your party!
Love cutting cucumbers into thin slices and mixing them into some sour cream. Add a little salt and pepper to the mix and its a perfect side dish to meats at dinnertime. (Polish family) Call it mizeria.
I didn’t have cucumbers but wanted to make an Asian salad and this one looked easy and delicious. I used 2 kinds of cabbage, grated carrot,chopped celery, and green onions and then the recipe dressing. I ate the whole bowl myself and only left a bit for my husband! Going to make it again soon. I will try with baby cucumbers but not sure I will bother with shaping them into noodles.The salad is delicious even without the cucumber
Made this tonight. Really enjoyed it. Clever use for all the cucumbers that are abounding in my garden right now! :-) Great flavor and easy to whip up. The cucumbers did continue to drain so added the dressing very last second so I could continue to dry the cucumbers with a towel. Husband liked it as well, will make again. Thanks!
Hi Phen! English cucumbers are perfect for this salad. They actually have less water content than garden cucumbers, and their skin is sweeter and less waxy so there’s no need to peel them. I’ve updated the recipe to specify that they are the kind I used. I hope you like this salad!
Hi Paulina! I don’t include nutritional information with my recipes because it’s just not possible to be 100% accurate. (For example, this recipe calls for honey [i]to taste[/i], and since I can’t know how much you will use, or the size of your cucumbers, etc., I can’t say what the exact nutritional information will be). If you’re needing the information for health reasons, I recommend using a site like caloriecount.com — it’s free to create an account and plug in your ingredients/amounts to get an accurate estimate of calories, fat, protein, etc.. If you don’t like that one there are other sites out there, too, that’s just a popular one I know a lot of people use. :) Hope that helps!
I was looking for something cool to go alongside a hot (yellow) curry dish that was carb-heavy with rice. This was outstanding. I followed it to the letter and loved the notion of leaving the skin on the cukes. The only variation was that I added some sliced cherry tomatoes.
Hi Amanda! I actually find it best served right away. The cucumber, once spiralized, will continue to release moisture and eventually it will start to water down the dressing and can even become a bit soupy. One thing that helps is making the dressing and storing it on the side, then spiralizing the cucumber and keeping it in a container lined with paper towels (or a clean dish towel) to absorb excess moisture. Then when you are ready to serve you can mix the cucumber and dressing and are good to go. I hope that helps!
Love this recipe and definitely will try it. I like the name coodles and for the carrots I think we should call them caroodles. Two cucumber recipes coming to mind that I adore. The first is sliced cucumbers and onions with a little sugar and vinegar and the second is basically the same recipe only sour cream is added and they are really divine.
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Welcome to my kitchen! I'm Willow - writer, photographer, and lover of food. I enjoy salads and desserts equally, and believe food doesn't have to be complicated to be good. My favorite thing in the whole world is getting together with friends around the table, hence the name of this blog: Will Cook For Friends. And you guys? You are my friends, too. So pull up a chair, and dig in!
The Best Healthy Fast Food Options
Fast-food stores are plentiful and fast food has the reputation of being unhealthy, while an increasing number of large chains are adding more nutritious options to their menus.
Sockets that allow more customization of orders tend to have lower calorie or more feeder selections. However, there are currently healthy options on the menu of the largest fast-food chains.
In this article, we'll look at the overall calorie, fat and saturated fat content to find some of the healthiest options that seven big fast-food chains have to offer.
Note, however, that calories and fat are only two aspects of how healthy a meal is fed. If a person eats only fast food, it is not possible to get the necessary nutrients such as vitamins and fiber.
Sandwich with cheese and vegetables
One person can customize Subway sandwiches to choose healthy fillings.
Metro specialize in deli style sandwiches or "sub". As a person can customize every "sub", Subway can be one of the healthiest healthy fast-food chains.
Some of the best sandwich options are on the Subway's Fresh Fit menu. The 6-inch Turkey Breast sandwich with nine wheat bread contains 250 calories and 3 grams of fat, including 0.5 g of saturated fat.
A healthy vegetarian option, Veggie Delite in nine wheat bread. This "bottom" contains only 2 g calories, does not contain 2 g total fat and saturated fat. It also has one of the lowest sodium levels (salt) compared to other sandwiches.
Subway also offers salads that can be a low-calorie alternative to a sandwich. All salads include lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, onions, cucumbers, green peppers and olives.
Fast food and diabetes: Tips and options
Fast food and diabetes: Tips and options
Are you having trouble finding a fast-food option for living with diabetes and occasional treatment? We can help you.
2. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is another great fast-food chain with a variety of healthy options. The ability to personalize each order allows people to choose more vegetable-like nutrients.
According to Taco Bell's website, three-quarters of its menus are under 500 calories. Some of the lowest calorie options are the Fresco menu, which uses regular sauce and cheese instead of vegetable based salsa.
One of the healthiest options is Chicken Soft Taco. Each taco contains about 170 calories, 8 g fat, containing only 3 g of saturated fat.
Bean Burrito is a vegetarian option containing 11 g fat, 380 calories, including 4 g of saturated fat.
Vegetarian options are lower in fat than meat options.
Chipotle is a Mexican-style chain that specializes in tacos and burritos. Similar to Subway and Taco Bell, Chipotle allows people to customize their meals to include healthy choices.
Healthy options are burritos or white rice instead of white rice. In a chicken bowl bowl containing fresh tomato salsa and brown rice, there are 415 calories, 13 g fat and 4 g saturated fat.
For a lower calorie, vegetarian option, people can choose a plate of bean curd, brown rice and a sofritas patty with lettuce. It contains 365 calories, 10 g fat and 1.5 g saturated fat. Adding sauce will increase the number of calories.
McDonald's had the reputation of being unhealthy, but they recently reaffirmed themselves to offer a variety of fresh and nutritious ingredients. Some of these changes may be cosmetics, while McDonald's has better options.
Fillet-O-Fish contains 390 calories and 4 g of saturated fat from 19 g of total fat. Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad contains only 320 calories and 6 g of saturated fat from a total of 14 g.
5. Burger King
Burger King is one of the largest burger chains in the United States, but has a limited number of healthy options. But some choices are a little healthier than others.
It contains a normal, simple hamburger, 10 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, and 240 calories. Grilled Chicken Sandwich contains 470 calories, 3.5 g saturated fat and 19 g fat.
BK Veggie Burger can be a healthier option among these examples. Contains 2,5 g of saturated fat, 390 calories and 17 g of fat.
Baked potato with knife, sour cream and cheese filling on plate
Baked potatoes can be a healthy fast-food option.
Wendy is another common fast-food chain that allows people to personalize their orders to make their choices healthier.
The menu of the chain is not abundant in healthy options, but some meals are able to customize to lower the calorie content.
Salads are also available, and if a person chooses some of the half-size salad choices, they can stay below 500 calories.
With a few vegetarian options at Wendy's, Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potatoes