Vietnamese Cucumber Salad

Glass bowl with cucumber salad, including peanuts, cilantro, and jalapeños.

Let me be the 12 millionth person to recommend Salt Fat Acid Heat, both on Netflix and in book form. This is Samin Nosrat’s Vietnamese-style cucumber salad. I served it with pan-seared chicken thighs and rice, and it was the interest in an otherwise unremarkable meal. The extra dressing from the salad made a nice sauce for the chicken.

2lbs (about 8) Persian or Japanese cucumbers
1 large jalapeño, seeds removed if desired, thinly sliced
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
0.5c coarsely chopped cilantro
16 large mint leaves, coarsely chopped
0.5c toasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
0.25c neutral-tasting oil
4-5T lime juice
4t rice wine vinegar
1T fish sauce
1t sugar
pinch of salt

Using either a mandolin or a sharp knife, thinly slice cucumbers, discarding the ends. In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, jalapeño, scallions, garlic, cilantro, mint, and peanuts. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients and stir until salt & sugar are dissolved. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix. Taste and adjust with more salt or lime juice. Serve immediately.

Eat yer veggies

I am a pretty boring lunch person. It’s either leftovers (if I’m feeling lazy) or a salad. Honestly, I prefer the salad. But it’s almost always the *same* salad, the one pictured above.

What’s in it? I’m glad you asked:

  • Quinoa
  • Refried Beans
  • Cheese

I put these three ingredients on a plate or in a bowl and then heat them up in the microwave. Then I add:

  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Diced red and green bell peppers
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole

The best part about this salad is that I can make 5 days of it on a Sunday night (two containers, one that gets heated up, the other of cold ingredients) and then I have a good selection of veggies for lunch throughout the week.

Leftover taco meat, if that’s a thing in your house, is a great addition.

Consider this today’s adulting tip.