Sesame Cucumber Salad

This quick cucumber salad is inspired by sunomono, a Japanese cucumber salad traditionally made with salted cucumbers and a sweetened vinegar dressing. In this version, we skipped salting the cucumbers and reduced the sugar to a pinch in favor of garlic and ginger for a flavorful dressing.

a recipe photo of the 10-Minute Sesame Cucumber Salad
Photo: Laura Kanya & Breana Killeen
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins

How We Made This Diabetes-Appropriate

Typically, Chinese and Japanese cucumber salads involve salting the cucumbers, which helps draw out the water and adds to the overall saltiness of the dish. To cut back on the sodium, we skipped that step and enhanced the flavor of the dressing with rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, ginger and garlic instead. You won't miss the salt! We promise.

Tips from the Test Kitchen

Can I substitute ground ginger or ginger paste for fresh ginger?

Ginger paste can be used in place of fresh, but we recommend skipping the ground ginger as its sharp taste will compete with the other flavors.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Cucumbers tend to lose water as they sit in a dressing, so this salad is at its best within an hour of assembly.

What do you serve with Sesame Cucumber Salad?

You can enjoy it on its own or serve it as a side to grilled chicken, shrimp or beef with brown rice. You can also use it as a topping for a grain salad.

I can't find Japanese or Persian cucumbers. Can I use other types?

Yes! English cucumbers or hothouse cucumbers are longer, thinner cucumbers with thin skin and fewer seeds and can be used as an alternative.


  • 1 Japanese cucumber or 4 Persian mini cucumbers (about 10 ounces)

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • ¼ teaspoon grated garlic

  • ¼ teaspoon grated ginger

  • teaspoon salt

  • Pinch of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. Peel cucumber to leave alternating green stripes. Quarter the cucumber lengthwise (halve lengthwise if using Persian cucumbers) and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Pat with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.

  2. Whisk vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Add the cucumber slices and toss to coat. Serve topped with sesame seeds.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

46 Calories
4g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 46
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 1g 2%
Total Fat 4g 5%
Vitamin A 75IU 2%
Vitamin C 2mg 2%
Folate 5mcg 1%
Vitamin K 12mcg 10%
Sodium 76mg 3%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Magnesium 9mg 2%
Potassium 105mg 2%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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