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Spicy Cucumber Salad

Spicy Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts

Spicy Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts

This is a refreshing and simple salad to make. It is made with an ingredient called fish sauce, also known as “nam pla” in Thailand or “nuoc nam” in Vietnam. Fish sauce is made from salted and fermented fish, which produces a liquid that has a very distinguished and pungent aroma with a salty flavor. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient throughout Southeast Asia.


Thai Fish Sauce

Squid brand fish sauce is my go-to for my Thai recipes. Whether you buy it online or at your local Asian market, I highly recommend these to the small supermarket bottles which are expensive and quite often inferior.

Palm Sugar is called for in many Thai recipes and can be substituted equally for any other sugar in your recipes. 


I use BetterBody Foods Organic Coconut Palm Sugar in my Thai recipes. It is Gluten-Free, Non-GMO and is a Low Glycemic sugar substitute. This convenient package contains 1.5-pounds of palm sugar.

When I make this recipe, I use a Mandoline to thinly slice the cucumbers, shallots, jalapeños and bell pepper. Although the ingredients can be sliced by hand with a sharp knife, the Mandoline produces a very uniform-thin slice. 


Mandolines are essential in the kitchen to achieve a fine slice or efficient julienne, however, they are one of the most dangerous tools that home cooks use. My advice is to take your time, use the safety hand guard (or cut resistant gloves) and be careful.

Spicy Cucumber Salad with Roasted Peanuts

Recipe by Michael SalmonCourse: SaladsCuisine: ThaiDifficulty: Easy


Prep time




  • 1/4 cup roasted whole peanuts (unsalted)

  • 2 English cucumbers (seedless), thinly sliced

  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds removed and thinly sliced

  • 1/4 red bell pepper, julienne

  • 3 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh spearmint

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons palm sugar (use brown sugar if you can’t find palm sugar)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Place the peanuts in a shallow baking dish and roast in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the cucumbers, shallots, jalapeño, red bell pepper and mint in a bowl.
  • In another small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar and garlic.
  • Add the dressing to the cucumbers and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with the roasted peanuts and serve.

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