Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad. Crisp cucumbers in a delicious tangy, salty, sweet, delicious dressing with a hint of spice. So easy to make at home!
One of the most popular side dishes served at Din Tai Fung, a famous Taiwanese restaurant.
In Canada, the weather is finally approaching and soon summer will be here! I figured why not share this incredibly tasty, refreshing and easy copycat Din Tai Fung cucumber salad. Perfect for a hot summer day when you don't feel like turning on the stove!
What is Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad?
Din Tai Fung is a very popular Taiwanese restaurant chain that has become incredibly popular in North America and originates from Taiwan. It has been given five Michelin star ratings! I love dining at Din Tai Fung for a special occasion.
In addition, it's also a popular dumpling house that serves all sorts of tasty Taiwanese food, like their delicious soup dumplings or noodle dishes. Din Tai Fung's cucumber salad is one of their most signature side dishes.
It's a crunchy Asian cucumber salad that is served chilled. The thick slices of cucumbers are dressed in tangy, savory dressing with a sweet flavor and the right amount of spice. The cucumber pieces are very crunchy because of the salting method which draws out excess moisture.
This copycat Din Tai Fung Cucumber recipe is so easy to make at home! It only requires 9 ingredients, which is not a lot especially when it comes to cooking Asian food. You're simply slicing the mini cucumbers into thick slices. Then salting them for 20-30 minutes for best results. Meanwhile, combine your dressing.
Afterwards, rinse the salted cucumbers in cold running water and drying them with a clean paper towel. Finally pour the dressing over the cucumbers mixing them into the sauce to enjoy! Feel free to serve the cucumbers on top of each other in a shallow dish or serving plate for a nice presentation.
You'll need the below simple ingredients for this din tai fung cucumber salad recipe. Please scroll down to recipe card for exact measurements:
Note: Most Asian grocery stores will carry these ingredients. You may find some at your select grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
- Mini cucumbers aka Persian cucumbers: These types of cucumbers are miniature in size with thin skin and are crunchier.
- You may substitute with regular cucumbers or English cucumbers that are cut into 1 cm thick pieces.
- Make sure to source fresh cucumbers with tight dark green vibrant skin. Avoid cucumbers that have wrinkled skin. The right cucumber is very important for this recipe since it's the star ingredient.
- Salt: table salt, sea salt or kosher salt will work. The excess salt will help make crunchy cucumbers by drawing out the high water content out through osmosis. The longer you allow the sliced cucumbers to sit in the salt, the crunchier they will be. I recommend letting them sit for 20 minutes. But if you're crunched for time, 10-15 minutes is enough.
Mixed Dressing Ingredients:
- Garlic: minced garlic is a key ingredient to this recipe! Do not skip on this!
- Regular soy sauce: Just your all-purpose soy sauce. The label should just simply say "Soy sauce". It shouldn't say "light soy sauce" or "dark soy sauce". You may use low sodium soy sauce.
- Rice vinegar: or substitute with white vinegar. You may use apple cider vinegar, but please add to taste as it can taste a bit stronger.
- Sesame oil: this offers a wonderful nutty taste to this chilled cucumber salad.
- Sugar: or substitute with honey. A sweetener helps to balanced out the salted cucumbers.
- Rice mirin: This helps to round out the flavors in this crunchy cucumber salad.
- Chili oil: I recommend using a Chinese chili oil to compliment the flavors in this Chinese Cucumber salad. However, if you don't have one, feel free to use any chili oil you have at home or that you can find at your local grocery store.
How to Make Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad
Slice cucumbers into 1 cm thick rounds. Transfer to a large bowl.
Sprinkle salt on top of cucumber slices.
Massage salt into cucumbers.
Let this sit for about 20 minutes to draw out excess water.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine Dressing ingredients as listed.
Rinse the salt off of the cucumbers with cold water. Strain out any excess water.
Pat cucumbers dry with clean paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Transfer back into a large clean bowl.
Pour dressing over cucumbers. Mix well. Enjoy!
Store this Asian cucumbers salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 3-4 days. Please note the next day the salad will become saltier.
Here are some frequently asked questions about this delicious recipe:
Can I use English cucumbers for this Din Tai Fung copycat recipe?
May I use gluten free soy sauce for this recipe?
Yes! I like using the gluten free brand by Kikkoman.
Can I substitute with apple cider vinegar?
Yes, but please add to taste.
May I omit the sesame oil? I'm allergic.
Yes, but keep in mind sesame oil gives this dish a wonderful aroma and taste.
Other Cucumber recipes you may enjoy!
Easy Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad
- 1 lb mini cucumbers sliced into 1 cm thick pieces
- 2 teaspoon salt to draw out excess moisture from cucumbers
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 tablespoon regular soy sauce not light soy sauce or dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil toasted kind
- 2.5 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- ½ tablespoon mirin
- ½ tablespoon Chinese chili oil Chinese kind recommended or use any chili oil you enjoy
- Slice cucumbers into 1 cm thick rounds. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle salt on top of sliced cucumbers. Massage salt into cucumbers. Let this sit for about 20 minutes to draw out excess water.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine Dressing ingredients as listed. Set aside.
- Rinse the salt off the cucumbers with cold running water. Strain out any excess water. Pat cucumbers dry with clean paper towels. Transfer back into a large clean bowl.
- Pour dressing over cucumbers. Mix well. Serve & enjoy optionally with more chili oil.
Did you enjoy my recipe?