Chef Greg Martin’s Spicy, Sweet and Tangy Cucumber Salad Recipe

cucumber salad two
A riff on Thai cucumber salad, my recipe balances spicy, salty, sweet and tangy for a bright salad.  An interesting side to grilled meats like ribs and brisket or when left in the rice vinegar for a bit longer, as regular pickles. 


  • 1 cup rice vinegar (non-flavored)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup minced shallot
  • 2 cups hothouse cucumbers sliced in ½ inch slices
  • pinch of salt to taste
  • thai chilies; whole for decoration or thinly sliced for heat, added to taste.


In a small sauce pan add the rice vinegar and sugar.  Heat the mixture under low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Add the Thai chilies whole or mined to your heat preference.  Add a pinch of salt.  Let mixture cool.

In an airtight container, mix the cucumbers and minced shallots with the vinegar mixture.  Allow the cucumbers to marinate for at least an hour then strain from marinate before serving or store for up to three days and use them as pickles. (two servings)

cucumber salad three

The beauty of the recipe besides its simplicity is that it is so customizable for different tastes.  Tweaking the amount of sugar or chilies makes it your own.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.  The longer they marinate in the vinegar, the softer and brinier they will become.  I like them crunchy so I tend to use them on the same day I prepare them or the next day.  Enjoy!








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