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Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Recipe

Crisp cucumbers pair perfectly with fresh garlic and sliced Fresno chilies – I drizzle the cucumbers with sesame and chili oil to make my copycat Din Tai Fung cucumber salad recipe. Serve the Din Tai Fung-inspired dish as a refreshing appetizer or side. 

A plate of our din tai fung cucumber salad recipe.

What is a Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad?

Din Tai Fung is a famous Taiwanese restaurant chain known for their xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), hand-pulled noodles, sautéed green beans, shrimp fried rice, and this simple cucumber salad recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Cucumber: Look for firm, crisp Persian or English cucumbers without soft spots or blemishes.
  • Kosher Salt: Use kosher or sea salt to brine and season the cucumbers before tossing them in the dressing.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar adds brightness and acidity to the dressing.
  • Garlic: I suggest using two garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
  • Sugar: Complement the savory and spicy elements of the salad with white sugar to create a balance of flavor.
  • Chili Oil: Whether you use homemade or store-bought chili oil, it adds welcome heat to flavor to the side dish.
  • Fresno Chilies: Fresno chilies add a signature pop of color like the original Din Tai Fung cucumber salad recipe. Use as much or as little as you want, depending on your spice preference.
  • Sesame Oil: I garnish the cucumber salad with sesame oil instead of including it in the dressing.

How to Make Copycat Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Recipe

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with kosher salt. Set them aside for 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture.

Salted cucumbers on a plate.

Step 2: While the cucumbers brine, prepare the dressing in a shallow bowl by whisking the rice wine vinegar, chili oil, minced garlic, and white sugar until the sugar dissolves.

Dressing in a small bowl.

Step 3: Rinse the cucumber with water and pat them dry.

A paper towel pressed into the cucumbers.

Step 4: Stack the cucumbers onto a plate in a pyramid, like they do at the restaurant. Spoon a desired amount of the dressing over the top and drizzle with sesame oil. Finish the stack with a Fresho chili, and enjoy!

A plate of our din tai fung cucumber salad recipe.

Expert Tips

  • Salting the sliced cucumbers draws the moisture out of the vegetable, allowing the salt to absorb the water and infuse the cucumber with flavor – resulting in crisp cucumber slices for the salad.
  • Rinse the cucumber slices with water to remove the excess salt since salt absorbs into the cucumbers during the brining process. Then, pat the cucumbers dry before topping them with the flavorful chili and sesame oil dressing.

If you enjoy this side dish, try one of these cucumber salads!  

A plate of our din tai fung cucumber salad recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy my Din Tai Fung cucumber salad recipe as a light, refreshing side dish with fresh dumplings and Din Tai Fun fried rice. Finish the salad with thinly sliced Fresno chilies, toasted sesame seeds, or scallions.

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: The cucumbers won’t be as crispy once you top them with the dressing, but they will have a ton of flavor. Store the leftovers in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I peel the cucumbers?

Din Tai Fung serves their cucumber salad with the peel on. However, the decision to peel the cucumbers is entirely up to you. 

Some people prefer the texture and appearance of peeled cucumbers. If you decide to go that route, use a vegetable peeler for a more consistent cut.

Can I make cucumber salad ahead of time?

Our Din Tai Fung cucumber salad recipe is perfect for prep meal, and you can make it 2-3 days in advance. But I recommend storing the cucumbers and the dressing separately so the cucumbers don’t lose their crisp. 

Why is Din Tai Fung so popular?

Din Tai Fung draws foodies from all over for their expert preparation of cucumber salad, xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), hand-pulled noodles, fried rice, steamed buns, and delicious Taiwanese cuisine.

More Copycat Recipes:

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A plate of our din tai fung cucumber salad recipe.

Din Tai Fung Cucumber Salad Recipe

Tressa Jamil
Crisp cucumbers pair with fresh garlic and chilies – they are drizzled with sesame and chili oil to make our Din Tai Fung cucumber salad recipe.
4 from 8 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Taiwanese
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 44 kcal
Equipment
Ingredients
  
  • 5-6 Persian cucumbers, sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon white sugar
For the Garnish:
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ fresno chili, finely sliced
Instructions
 
  • Place the sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle them with kosher salt. Set them aside for 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture.
  • While the cucumbers brine, prepare the dressing in a shallow bowl by whisking the rice wine vinegar, chili oil, minced garlic, and white sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  • Rinse the cucumber with water and pat them dry.
  • Stack the cucumbers onto a plate in a pyramid, like they do at the restaurant. Spoon a desired amount of the dressing over the top and drizzle with sesame oil. Finish the stack with a Fresho chili, and enjoy!
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Salting the sliced cucumbers draws the moisture out of the vegetable, allowing the salt to absorb the water and infuse the cucumber with flavor – resulting in crisp cucumber slices for the salad.
  • Rinse the cucumber slices with water to remove the excess salt since salt absorbs into the cucumbers during the brining process. Then, pat the cucumbers dry before topping them with the flavorful chili and sesame oil dressing.
  •  
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 44 kcal | Carbohydrates: 7 g | Protein: 16 g | Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Sodium: 660 mg | Potassium: 4 mg | Sugar: 4 g | Vitamin A: 67 IU | Vitamin C: 143 mg | Calcium: 2 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
4 from 8 votes (7 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Danny

Saturday 26th of August 2023

So do you toss the cucumbers in the dressing mixture after you've salted them to bring out the moisture? Why would you rinse them off after the salting and making them wet again?

Tressa Jamil

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Salting the cucumbers does two things. First, it draws the moisture out of the cucumber so the sauce that's added can penetrate and flavor the cucumbers. The other reason for salting them is to, not just the outside of the cucumbers (which is why we rinse off the excess salt), but to let that salt flavor the inside of the cucumber as well. I will try to make this more clear in the write up.