This copycat Din Tai Fung cucumber recipe is coated in a simple yet deliciously sweet, spicy, and savory sauce that makes for a delicious side dish.
Looking for recipes for cucumbers? Look no further than this copycat Din Tai Fung cucumber recipe.
This crunchy and refreshing cucumber salad is quite literally a dish best served cold. It comes together in minutes and gets even tastier when it sits in the refrigerator.
The Din Tai Fung cucumber recipe appetizer is one of the restaurant’s most popular side dishes. No fancy ingredients or equipment are necessary to make this dish, so you can make this at home to accompany any Asian-inspired dishes.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you.
Sliced cucumbers get tossed in salt and sit to allow the salt to pull out excess moisture. Once the cucumbers are nice and crispy, you toss it in this delicious Din tai fung spicy sauce recipe.
What is a Din Tai Fung cucumber salad
Din Tai Fung is a popular Taiwanese restaurant chain with locations all over the world. Their U.S. based restaurants are in California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada.
They are very well known for their noodle dishes, xiaolongbao- or soup dumplings- and of course their delicious cucumber salad. It’s one of their most popular side dishes.
This appetizer is served with a drizzle of chili oil and is simply perfection. It’s light, crunchy, and satisfying with just a little bit of heat.
This copycat recipe is just as good as the original. The best part is that you don’t have to leave your home to enjoy it.
Let’s dive into the ingredients in this Din tai fung cucumber salad recipe:
- Cucumbers: For our veg, we’re going with Persian or English cucumbers. These varieties contain a lot less water than say a garden cucumber, making them an excellent choice.
- Rice vinegar: The lovely vinegar made from fermented rice adds the necessary acid and tang to this pickled cucumber salad.
- Mirin: Mirin is similar to a sake but has a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content. This Japanese pantry staple adds sweetness and tang.
- Sugar: Adds sweetness, of course.
- Sesame oil: Because it’s delicious.
- Soy sauce: Adds savoriness and saltiness.
- Garlic: Garlic gives this dish some bite and flavor.
- Chili oil: This is the finisher for the marinated cucumber salad adding color and a little bit of heat.
- Finely chopped chili: This is another final touch to the dish and completely optional if you are worried about too much heat. We used a Thai chili but you could use whatever you like.
How to make Din Tai Fung cucumber salad
The first step to the cucumber salad din tai fung is to chop the cucumber. As we stated above, use a Persian or English cucumber. Both contain significantly less water than other types of cucumbers.
Cut the cucumber into slices about ½ inch thick pieces and place in a bowl. Next, time for the cucumbers and salt. Salt removes the excess moisture from the vegetable, resulting in a crunchy cucumber.
Salt the cucumbers and let sit for 30 minutes. Next, rinse the diced cucumbers and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, mirin, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and top with chili oil and the chopped Thai chili. This step is optional but adds a nice heat.
Store the leftovers in an airtight container. The spicy cucumbers will actually get even better in the fridge as they soak up the dressing.
Cucumber is a widely-cultivated creeping vine plant and there are three main types- slicing, pickling, and seedless. Armenian, English, Persian and lemon cucumbers are popular varieties in North American and commonly found in grocery stores.
Armenian cucumbers have thin skin and soft skin, which means they are not ideal for pickling. They are crunchy and great to enjoy raw.
Garden cucumbers are the most common in North America, known for their big seeds and dark green smooth skin.
This kind of cucumber is usually waxed at supermarkets, so it’s a good idea to peel the skin off.
English cucumbers are also called seedless or hot house cucumbers. They have a dark green skin and are popular for their minimal seeds.
Also, they are great raw and are also delicious in cocktails. Seedless cucumbers are the best choice for this cucumber salad recipe because of their minimal seeds and lower water content.
Can I prepare this ahead of time
Yes, in fact this Chinese cucumber salad gets even better when prepared ahead of time. Toss the cucumbers in the dressing before making the rest of your meal, and remove from the fridge when ready to eat.
Din tai fung calories
This Din Tai Fung cucumber salad is a healthy and nutritious choice with roughly 100 calories.
Din Tai Fung Cucumber Recipe
- 1 lb Persian or English cucumber
- 1½ tbsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- chili oil
- 1 Thai chili, minced
- Chop cucumbers into roughly ½ inch rounds. Place in a bowl, coat with salt, and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the cucumbers and dry with a paper towel.
- In a bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic.
- Add your dry cucumbers to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Plate and top with chili and chili oil if desired.