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Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad

A well-balanced starter or mezze, this tahini and chilli cucumber salad recipe is refreshing, rich, and nutty in flavour. It’s easy to prepare, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your date this Valentine’s Day.

Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad with tahini and paratha

An ode to my favourite chinese smashed cucumber salad, this delicious, umami-packed salad is zingy, spicy, and creamy all in one bite. This smooth, rich tahini dressing and crrrrrunchy cucumber salad is an easy recipe to keep in your back pocket for date night. It takes only 8 steps and 6 ingredients to put this quick and easy dish together. 

Not only does it work as a starter or side, you can also prepare this versatile recipe ahead of time. That means you don’t keep your dinner guests, or date, waiting. Get ahead of dinner by making your creamy tahini sauce 1 or 2 days before, and prep the cucumber in advance. Simply keep it all refrigerated and plate up in 5 minutes when you are ready to serve.

How do you make cucumbers more tasty?

The flavours of this recipe are inspired by the Asian style smashed (or smacked) cucumber salad. While we haven’t smashed our cucumber in this recipe, the flavours are still bang on. 

The trick to a great cucumber salad is to salt your cucumber slices to draw out excess moisture. By process of osmosis, the salt will absorb the water. This leaves you with a drier cucumber and more flavourful salad (because no one likes a watery salad). And if you decide to smash your cucumbers, this will help in soaking up the delicious, delectable dressing.

To add some flair to the presentation of your salad, we suggest you alternate the direction of the knife while cutting the cucumber slices. This provides more interesting shapes, which looks impressive on plating up, and adds texture to each bite.

Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad with tahini and paratha

Moreish means more-ish

If you love the tahini dressing that we’ve paired with this salad, then simply double (or even triple) the ingredients. If you make a larger batch, then store in your fridge and use it to amp up other dishes throughout the week. Enjoy it with falafels, on a burger, or even spread on some toast – we love it with some paratha!

If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. And if you are looking for more inspiration this Valentine’s Day, then try out some of our other recipes on our website. View our instagram video here

Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad with tahini and paratha
Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad with tahini and paratha

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this gluten-free?

This dish is gluten free! Enjoy!

Can I make this vegan?

Absolutely! Just make sure to use a vegan butter in place of the dairy butter. 

What if I can only find a thick chipotle?

If you are using a paste, then we suggest adding a few drops of water to turn it into a drizzling consistency.

Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad with tahini and paratha
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Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad with tahini and paratha

Tahini and Chilli Cucumber Salad​


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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

A well-balanced salad, snack, or side, this tahini and chilli cucumber salad recipe is refreshing, rich, and nutty in flavour. It’s easy to prepare, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your date this Valentine’s Day.


Ingredients

Units
  • 1/4 cup / 60g Tahini
  • 1 large Garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 34 tbsp Iced water
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 20g Butter
  • 12 tsp Chipotle or Chiu chow chilli oil
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • Bread of choice to serve – we love paratha!

Instructions

  1. Grate the garlic, and place it int a small bowl. Pour over the lemon juice and set aside. The lemon will mellow the raw garlic over time.
  2. Prepare the cucumber by halving it and scraping out the seeds with a teaspoon. Discard the seeds. Cut the cucumber halves into long strips, then cut the strips into uneven bite sized chunks.
  3. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt over the cucumber, toss, then place in a colander and set aside for 10 minutes to draw excess water from the cucumbers.
  4. Add the tahini to a bowl, then pour in the lemon garlic mixture. Mix until the tahini thickens. Slowly mix in the iced water a little at a time, stirring well between each addition. Once the tahini reaches a thick and creamy, yet soft consistency, stop adding water. Season well with salt and finely ground black pepper to taste.
  5. Once ready to serve, melt the butter and add a little of the chilli sauce to taste. Warm your bread, if necessary.
  6. Spoon the tahini onto two small serving plates to form the base of the dish. Drizzle over the chilli melted butter, then top the dish with the seasoned cucumber. Spoon the remaining chilli sauce over the cucumbers (If using chipotle the paste may be a little thick for this step. To resolve this simply add a few drops of water to the chipotle paste to think it into a drizzly consistency).
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • I like to alternate the direction of the knife to make the cucumber pieces have a more interesting shape, which looks impressive on plating up.
  • Plating up this dish is relatively quick. If looking to get ahead on dinner the tahini sauce can be made 1-2 days before. The cucumber can be made and kept refrigerated for up to a few hours before serving.
  • Category: Quick and easy
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Starter
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