Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad

A Caribbean flu hit our household in Haiti this week. First Paul, then me, now the kids. Sigh. During times of illness, my go-to comfort food is the reassuringly simple, cool, and refreshing cucumber. Cucumbers are my vegetable equivalent of chicken soup. As I gradually felt better throughout the week, my cucumber salads became more elaborate and flavorful. This Crisp Thai Cucumber & Peanut Salad, a Thai-inspired riff, is crunchy, sour,  and salty, with a hint of coconut sweetness.

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Yield: Serves 4 as a side


  • 4 small cucumbers, unpeeled, seeds removed, cut into small pieces (substitute 2 english cucumbers)
  • 3 small shallots, thinly sliced (substitute 2 tablespoons minced red onion)
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, whole or halved
  • 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened coconut


  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar (can substitute another mild vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (substitute your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients (lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar, canola oil, sugar, red pepper, garlic).
  2. Toss the salad ingredients (cucumber, shallots, cilantro, peanuts, coconut) together in a big bowl and pour over the vinaigrette. Mix to combine. Serve within 1 hour.