Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

This Asian cucumber salad is a copycat recipe that captures the bold and delicious flavors of the crunchy, tangy, sweet and spicy cucumber salad served at the renowned Taiwanese-based Chinese restaurant, Din Tai Fung. It’s a quick and easy recipe that anyone can make!

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What Is Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad?

It’s an Asian Cucumber Salad that is a favorite appetizer served at the world-renowned Chinese restaurant, Din Tai Fung.

This delicious cucumber salad is crunchy and refreshing and served with a simple dressing that contains a mixture of nutty sweetness and a little bit of heat!

There is a bit of prep time involved in this recipe, but the dressing can be made in 5 minutes or less!

Follow my recipe below for this dressing and you’ll detect notes of toasted sesame, a bit of heat from the chili oil and some tangy goodness from the soy sauce all of which combine to create a complex flavor profile that is quite addictive.

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After trying this Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad, you will never want to eat plain cucumbers again!

A Little Background

If you’ve looked around SeasonalCookbook.com, you’ll notice that I love Asian and Asian-inspired food and that I’ve also created a few other summer salads.

There is nothing more refreshing than a nice cold salad on those hot summer days.

One of my favorite Asian Salad recipes is my Vegan Somen Noodle Salad, which has been my go-to summer salad for the past couple years!

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I’ve also done other copycat recipes, such as my Applebee’s Spinach Artichoke Dip (Copycat) and these types of recipes are so much fun because you’re trying to mimic the actual restaurant recipe.

I also love creating different Asian sauces, such as my Quick Gyoza Sauce – a savory dipping sauce for potstickers that only uses 2 ingredients.

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Copycat
Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad with Dressing on Plate

So, when I saw there was an opportunity to combine my love of Asian cuisine, my penchant for making summer salads and also making a copycat recipe, this Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad became an easy no-brainer!

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It was a recipe that I just had to make and share with YOU!

What Type OF Cucumber Should You Use For This Din Tai Fung Salad?

In the ingredients photo below, you’ll see I used an English Cucumber for today’s recipe because it’s not quite as thick as other cucumbers and has very few seeds and a thinner skin.

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I actually prefer using an English or even a Persian Cucumber for this recipe.

If you’re interested in learning about the different types of cucumbers, please check out this article on the different cucumber varieties from TheSpruceEats.com – it’s an eye-opener!

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Ingredients

All the ingredients for Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

There are not many ingredients needed for this Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad, but a few more than many of my simple, seasonally-inspired recipes require!

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This recipe uses the following ingredients – all are available online or at a local Asian Grocery store:

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Some recipes call for Mirin and dried chilies, but the Mirin is totally optional (and I think unnecessary) and the dried chilies are more of a presentation ingredient.

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Recipe Equipment Needed

This Din Tai Fung Cucumber Recipe doesn’t require much cookware!

Only a sharp chef’s knife and some kitchenware are needed for this Din Tai Fung Cucumber salad.

I used a large plastic bowl, deep plate and small sauce bowl to mix the dressing for this cucumber salad.

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Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Recipe Overview

This recipe consists of two separate activities:

  1. Preparing the Cucumbers
  2. Making the Din Tai Fung Dressing

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Preparing The Cucumbers For This Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

This section explains how to prepare the cucumbers so that this salad tastes as close as possible to the one served at the Din Tai Fung restaurant.

English Cucumber Slices on plate awaiting my next move!

Slicing The Cucumbers

Slice the cucumbers into 1/4″ slices using a sharp chef’s knife like this one.

Don’t worry about the exact thickness of each cucumber slice, I know some other recipes recommend 1/2″ thick cucumber slices. I just happen to prefer thinner cuke slices.

Try to make the slices uniform as best you can.

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Salting The Cucumber Slices

Add about 5-7 cucumber slices at a time to a large plastic bowl and add salt to the cucumber slices as you go.

The goal is to salt all of your cucumber slices and then let them rest in the bowl for about 30 minutes.

Salted cucumber slices in large plastic bowl

The salt will draw out the moisture from the cucumber slices, making them even more crunchy when you serve your salad!

After about 30 minutes, begin removing the cucumbers from your bowl and rinse the salt off – I used the spray nozzle in my sink to rinse off the salt, but you can rinse your cucumbers any way you prefer.

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Then pat the cucumber slices dry with a heavy duty paper towel like Bounty – you want your cucumber slices as dry as possible to most closely match the salad served the way it is at Din Tai Fung.

Mixing The Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Dressing

This part is easy and fun!

Before we get started, I wanted to mention that I have noticed with some other recipes online the measurements they use for the dressing ingredients doesn’t make enough dressing for my taste.

And if you are using a large English cucumber like I did, you’re going to want enough dressing to marinate all of the slices.

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Maybe it’s because I used a large English Cucumber, which resulted in a lot of cucumber slices or maybe it’s because I love this dressing so much I started dipping my Fresh Spring Rolls in it, too!

But my recipe calls for slightly larger portions of the main dressing ingredients than you may have seen on other blogs with a similar Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad recipe.

Cucumber slices on plate after rinsing off the salt

I’ll give you the exact measurements for each dressing ingredient down below in the recipe card, but for now, just think of the dressing as a simple mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, minced garlic and sugar.

Tips & Substitutions

As I mentioned above, I prefer to use English Cucumbers for this recipe, but Persian cucumbers work just as well.

Both of these cucumbers have fewer seeds, thinner skin and a sweet flavor that complements the dressing nicely.

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Rice Vinegar

If you don’t have rice vinegar, you can use distilled white vinegar or red wine vinegar.

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Garlic

As much as I love garlic, I find that in this particular recipe, I can take it or leave it. I think because there are a lot of strong flavors already competing.

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

5.0 from 3 votes
Recipe by Bill Course: Appetizers, Copycat, SidesCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes
Calories

96

kcal

This Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad is a copycat recipe that mirrors the crunchy, tangy, sweet and spicy appetizer served at Din Tai Fung restaurant. It’s an easy recipe with a ton of flavor!

I have added Amazon links to most of the ingredients below so you can simply order these online and save a trip to the store!

Ingredients

Directions

  • Prepare your cucumber(s) by slicing into similarly sized 1/4″ slices using a sharp knife like this one.
  • Gradually add the cucumber slices (about 5-7 slices at a time) to a large plastic bowl and lightly salt the cucumber slices as you go.
  • Once all the cucumber slices have been salted and added into the large plastic bowl, let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes is up, remove the cucumber slices from the bowl and rinse the salt off. Pat the cucumbers as dry as possible with a heavy-duty absorbent paper towel.
  • In a small sauce bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, chili oil, and minced garlic following the measurements for the dressing ingredients listed above.
  • Add the dry cucumbers back into the plastic bowl (after rinsing the salt from the bowl, of course) and pour in the dressing that you mixed together in the previous step.
  • Lightly toss or stir the cucumbers in the bowl together with the dressing.
  • Remove the cucumber slices to a serving plate and add another drop or two of the dressing to each slice – this makes it look so pretty and taste delicious!
    Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Copycat

Notes

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What To Eat With Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad?

This salad is the perfect appetizer to eat before almost any Asian dish.

I like to have this cucumber salad with Spring Rolls, Shrimp Rolls, or Dumplings.

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How To Store Din Tai Fung Cucumbers

The best way to store this cucumber salad is in air-tight plastic storage containers like these.

If you store your cucumber salad in containers like I recommend, it can list for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

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So What Do You Think?

I would like to hear what you think of my version of this Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad.

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad

Did you make it? Is it a good Copycat Recipe of the real thing?

Please let me know in the COMMENTS SECTION below!

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