I’m so excited to share with you this delicious and easy-to-make recipe for Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad. If you’ve ever dined at Din Tai Fung, you know how delicious their cucumber salad can be. The good news is, you can now recreate this refreshing dish in the comfort of your own home with just a few simple ingredients and steps. Let’s get started!
Why this recipe works
Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad is a classic chinese cucumber salad served at a famous Taiwanese restaurant loved by many for its crispiness, tangy flavor, and delicate balance of sweet and savory notes. The combination of rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chili oil creates a harmonious blend of flavors that perfectly complements the fresh crunch of cucumbers. The marinating process allows the cucumbers to absorb the delicious dressing, resulting in a burst of flavors in every bite.
What is Din Fai Fung Cucumber Salad
Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad is a popular dish often served as an appetizer in the Chinese cuisine restaurant chain, called Din Tai Fung. The salad features crunchy cucumbers that are marinated in a delightful mixture of rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, chili oil, and minced garlic. This refreshing side dish is perfect for those looking to add a refreshing touch to their meals.
Best ingredients for Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad
- Cucumbers: Choose fresh and firm Persian or English cucumbers that you’ll find at grocery stores. These varieties have a mild and slightly sweet flavor, making them ideal for this salad. Cut cucumbers into thick rounds to ensure they remain crispy.
- Salt: As cucumbers naturally have high water content, a small amount of salt is used to draw out excess water, ensuring they remain crisp.
- Rice vinegar: This vinegar adds a tangy kick to the salad, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
- Soy sauce: Choose a good-quality soy sauce to provide the umami depth that complements the other ingredients.
- Sugar: Just a touch of sugar balances the tanginess of the vinegar and soy sauce, giving the salad a subtly sweet taste.
- Sesame oil: This aromatic oil adds a nutty flavor and enriches the dressing.
- Chili oil: For a slight hint of spice, chili oil is added to the mix. Adjust the amount based on your spice preference.
- Garlic: Minced garlic brings its unique pungency, enhancing the overall taste of the salad.
- Chilli pepper: A small piece of chili pepper is added as a garnish for those who enjoy an extra spicy kick.
How to make Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad
Please note: This is just an overview – the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Prepare the cucumbers. Wash them thoroughly and pat them dry. Cut off the ends of the cucumbers and slice them into thick slices. Place the cucumber slices in a large bowl.
Step 2: Sprinkle salt over the cucumber slices and toss gently to ensure all the slices are coated with salt. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. This step helps to draw out excess moisture from the cucumbers.
Step 3: After 10 minutes, rinse the salted cucumbers briefly under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Step 4: In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients: rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and chilli oil. Stir well until the sugar dissolves completely.
Step 5: Add the minced garlic to the sauce mixture and mix well.
Step 6: Pour the chilli garlic sauce over the cucumber slices and toss to coat them evenly.
Step 7: Let the salad marinate for at least 15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together.
Step 8: Place crunchy cucumber salad on a serving plate, top with a piece of red chilli and enjoy!
Storing and freezing tips
If you have leftovers, you can store this crunchy asian cucumber salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. However, keep in mind that chilled cucumber salad might lose some of their crunchiness over time. It’s best to consume the salad fresh for optimal taste and texture.
As for freezing, cucumber salad is not suitable for freezing, as cucumbers tend to become mushy and lose their appeal once thawed.
Top tips for the best Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad
- Choose fresh cucumbers: For the best results, use fresh and firm cucumbers that have a vibrant green color.
- Slice the cucumbers evenly: Aim for consistent thickness when slicing the cucumbers to ensure even marination.
- Adjust the seasoning: Feel free to adjust the amount of chili oil based on your spice preference. You can also add a dash of toasted sesame seeds for extra crunch and flavor.
- Be patient during marination: Allowing the salad to marinate for at least 15 minutes is key to fully infuse the flavors into the cucumbers.
Din Tai Fung’s Cucumber Salad is incredibly versatile and pairs well with various dishes. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Serve it as an appetizer: Enjoy the salad on its own before the main course on a hot summer day.
- Perfect side dish: Pair the cucumber salad with your favorite Chinese or Asian-inspired meals like delicious soup dumplings, noodle dishes, or fried rice.
- Side dish for grilled meats: This delicious recipe makes a great addition to grilled meats like chicken, pork, or even tofu.
- Summer gatherings: It’s the perfect addition to picnics, barbecues, and potlucks during warm weather.
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Can I use other types of cucumbers?
Yes, you can use other types of cucumbers, but Persian and English cucumbers work best due to their mild flavor and minimal seeds
Is the salad spicy?
The level of spiciness can be adjusted by controlling the amount of chili oil. If you prefer a milder taste, use less chili oil or omit it altogether.
Can I make the salad in advance?
While you can prepare the sauce and slice the cucumbers in advance, it’s best to toss them together just before serving to retain the crispness of the cucumbers.
Did you make it?
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