This Asian Cucumber Salad with Toasted Rice Powder is ideal for summer – Light, tangy, refreshing and crunchy. Perfect for picnics and outdoor barbecues!
Growing up, I always remember my mom making her fresh tomato salad and cucumber salad in the summertime. Both were dressed simply, with a little bit of vinegar, salt and pepper, allowing the actual flavors of the veggies to shine through.
These salads were always extra special because they were made with vegetables that my Nanu grew in his garden. Those summers were always extra special too because they were filled with family, visits to the lake, and time off from school. Even though there wasn’t much to do in our small town, it seemed like we could always fill the day with something.
My Italian family all lived on the same block growing up – One house after the next. If I do my counting correctly, I’d say that we had seven houses on that one block. My Nanu and Nana lived right next door – Which was a huge plus because they’d always bring over bowls of Sunday Gravy. My Nanu’s three brothers also lived on the block (they would be my great-uncles), as well as their grown kids, and my aunt and uncle.
Backyard barbecues happened on the regular, and there were lots of basketball games, slip-n-slide adventures, and water balloon fights. But I was definitely outnumbered – all of the cousins were boys… So there was lots of roughhousing. Which is when I would go off and resort to my coloring books or friendship bracelet making. It wasn’t until middle school that my aunt and uncle finally had a baby girl.
With summer officially here again – I decided to bring back my mom’s cucumber salad recipe. But I put a bit of a twist on it with this Asian Cucumber Salad – Sprinkling some toasted rice powder on top to add some crunch. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with toasted rice powder after first using it on this Thai Beef Salad, and then sprinkling it on top of this Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken. This cucumber salad has a bit of an Asian twist to it, using rice wine vinegar to give it its tang, so I thought that the rice powder would be a perfect fit.
The result? Crunchy, tangy, light, refreshing – All the great things you want in a summer salad.
Asian Cucumber Salad with Toasted Rice Powder
- Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Thinly slice into half moons.
- Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a large bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the cucumber slices and stir well to combine.
- Toast the rice in a small skillet over medium heat, tossing constantly to prevent burning. Allow it to come to a golden color, similar to brown rice. Using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, process the rice grains to a coarse powder.
- Sprinkle the salad with the toasted rice powder and serve immediately.
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