This 6 ingredient Asian cucumber and radish salad is made with citrusy ponzu sauce and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to add a little spiciness. It’s an easy, refreshing, beautiful side dish that takes just 10 minutes to make!
Asian Cucumber and Radish Salad
Japanese ponzu sauce is a citrus soy or tamari sauce that also includes rice vinegar, kombo (kelp), mirin, bonito extract, and sugar. It tastes like a citrusy, salty, lightly sweet soy sauce. You can find ponzu specifically infused with Yuzu or multi-citrus blends.
This cucumber radish salad is seasoned only with ponzu, sesame oil, and a few spicy pepper flakes. It needs no more bells or whistles. Ponzu is such a bright and exciting flavor that with only 6 ingredients, this salad positively shines!
I made this salad for a summer barbecue where I wanted to combine flavors from around the world that worked perfectly together. This recipe was such a hit! For a more traditional dinner, I would suggest serving this salad with seared baby bok choy or sushi!
The Simple Process
- First, we’ll thinly slice the radishes.
- Next, we’ll slice the cucumbers about ⅔-inch thick.
- Then, we’ll thinly slice red onion.
- Finally, we’ll stir everything together with Ponzu and sesame sauce, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
greenhouse cucumber – Also known as English cucumber, they’re thinner, a little bit sweeter, and less bitter than American varieties of cucumber. This is a traditionally used cucumber for asian cucumber salads, but you can substitute with American cucumbers if you can’t find greenhouse cucumbers.
ponzu sauce – A citrus soy sauce. There are a few different kinds of ponzu sauces, but I prefer the yuzu ponzu for this recipe. Yuzu are the citrus fruits you often see floating around capybaras in hot springs. Although yuzu looks like a lemon, it’s actually closer in flavor to grapefruit.
radish – I used red radishes for this recipe but feel free to substitute with daikon radish.
red onion – I love thinly sliced red onion for this recipe, but thinly sliced pearl onions would look very pretty and taste just as nice.
crushed red pepper – If you’re not looking to spice up this recipe, feel free to omit the red pepper flakes, and perhaps substitute with sesame seeds for a little extra excitment.
How to Make This Salad – Step by Step
1. Thinly slice 5 red radishes.
2. Slice 2 greenhouse cucumbers about ⅔-inch thick and slice them in half so that they’re nice, bite-size pieces.
3. Very thinly slice 2 tbsp. of red onion.
4. Gently stir radishes, cucumbers, and onion in a mixing bowl with 4 tbsp. ponzu sauce and 1 tbsp. sesame oil. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes. Serve or refrigerate and allow the cucumbers and radishes to marinate for an hour before serving.
A Few Notes
This salad will stay fresh for up to 5 days in a refrigerated, sealed container.
Although the salad can truly be made and served within only 10 minutes, I suggest making it about an hour before serving (or up to a day ahead!) so that the cucumbers and radishes can marinate in the ponzu.
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More Side Dish Inspiration
Asian Cucumber and Radish Salad
- 1 cutting board and knife
- 1 mixing bowl
- 2 greenhouse cucumbers – sliced ⅔-inch thick
- 5 red radishes – thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. red onion – thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp. ponzu sauce
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- Gently stir 5 sliced radishes, 2 sliced greenouse cucumbers and 2 tbsp. thinly sliced red onion in a mixing bowl with 4 tbsp. ponzu sauce and 1 tbsp. sesame oil. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes. Serve or refrigerate and allow the cucumbers and radishes to marinate for an hour before serving.