Hot and Sour Cucumber Salad

In Thailand, the cucumbers are shorter and thicker than the Western variety. They are also fairly bursting with seeds. But no matter, for whatever type we use, the cucumber’s mild flavour and juicy crunchiness come through. In this recipe, the cucumbers are marinated in a piquant vinegary dressing, making them an ideal accompaniment to any fried or grilled dishes. They may also be served as a salad in their own right. By all means experiment: you may find you enjoy an even spicier version. Just add more chillies and garlic.


  • 450 g (1 lb) cucumbers
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) white rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 15 g (½ oz) fresh red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic


Slice the cucumbers in half lengthways and, using a teaspoon, remove the seeds. Cut the cucumber halves into 7.5 x 1 cm (3 x ½ in) pieces.

Combine the cucumber pieces with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and leave to stand for at least 4 hours or more in the fridge, stirring from time to time. When you are ready to serve, drain the cucumber thoroughly.