This copycat Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad is bursting with flavor. Beautifully marinated cucumbers drizzled in chili oil is an outstanding vegetarian appetizer you can enjoy for any special occasion!
A crisp cucumber salad, like my Asian Cucumber Salad and Thai Cucumber Salad, is always a great choice when you need something refreshing on a hot day. For those special occasions in summer, serve this copycat Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad instead!
In order to be authentic, Din Tai Fung copycat recipes must be bold, flavorful, a bit spicy, and out-of-this-world delicious. The Taiwanese restaurant is best known for its unique wontons, noodle dishes, and overall creativity in each dish. To honor their innovations, I really went for it with this chilled cucumber salad.
I marinate the sliced cucumbers for this salad for 4 hours (or up to 2 days) to infuse deep layers of Taiwanese flavors into each bite. Then they’re drizzled in chili oil and topped with Din Tai Fung’s signature fresno chili pepper. This appetizer is delicious, spicy, and unlike anything else!
What is a Din Tai Fung cucumber salad?
This recipe was inspired by the cucumber salad served at Din Tai Fung, a popular Taiwanese restaurant chain on the west coast. The original appetizer is served with a drizzle of sesame and chili oil and the signature fresco chili pepper on top. It’s super light and refreshing with just a hint of heat.
My copycat recipe is similar to the original and boasts big flavor! I marinated the cucumbers for 4 hours and finished it off with chili oil. In the end, this copycat recipe is just as good as the original and perfect for when you’re craving the classic dish without leaving your home.
How to make a copycat Din Tai Fung cucumber salad
Place the sliced cucumbers in a small bowl and sprinkle kosher salt over top. Toss to combine, then let them sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the salted cucumbers afterward.
Next, make the cucumber salad dressing by whisking rice vinegar, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and salt together in a bowl.
Toss the cucumbers in the dressing. They need to marinate (covered) in the fridge for at least 4 hours or even up to 2 days to achieve the authentic flavor.
When it’s time to serve, stack the cucumbers in an organized pile on a plate. Season with more salt if needed and drizzle the chili oil and fresno chili over top. Serve chilled and enjoy!
Should I peel the cucumber?
Din Tai Fung serves their cucumber salad with the peel still on, but you can always remove it if you prefer. I feel that the peel adds to the presentation and overall texture.
Can I make cucumber salad ahead of time?
This is the kind of recipe that you have to prepare ahead of time to achieve the perfect flavor. Toss the cucumbers in the dressing at least 4 hours before serving, or leave them to marinate for up to 2 days. This gives you plenty of time to prepare a flavorful main dish, like Chinese Roasted Chicken, for dinner.
You can also save time by assembling the cucumbers on the plate about an hour before serving. Drizzle the oil and add the peppers over top right before it’s time to eat.
What to serve with chilled cucumber salad:
- Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts
- Vegetarian Sushi Rolls // Spicy “Tuna” Rolls
- Fried Rice
- Sauteed Spinach
- Thai Shrimp Salad
If you loved this Din Tai Fung cucumber recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
More Asian-inspired recipes:
- Dan Dan Noodles
- Hamachi Crudo
- Mongolian Chicken
- Bahn Mi Tacos
- Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
- Sesame Chicken Noodles
- Easy Mongolian Beef
Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad
- 8 Persian cucumbers (sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces)
- 1½ Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon chili oil (or more, to taste)
- ½ Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 fresno chile pepper (minced (optional))
- Add sliced cucumber to a small bowl. Sprinkle with 1 ½ TBSP kosher salt and toss to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- After 30 minutes, rinse off the salt mixture and pat the cucumbers dry.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, mirin, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Toss the rinsed and dried cucumbers with the dressing and let marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, up to 2 days.
- To serve: Taste for seasoning, and add additional salt if needed. Drizzle with chili oil and sprinkle with fresno chile and serve chilled.