Chinese Cold Cucumber Recipe

Chinese Cold Cucumber Recipe

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This is an authentic recipe from our team in China, featured in our Sichuan Recipe Box. The ingredients labeled with a * below are hard-to-find ingredients that we’ve sourced from China and are all included in our recipe box which is available for shipping throughout the USA and China. For more information and to purchase online, click here.

The Story of Chinese Cold Cucumbers

Ahh, the cucumber. If you don’t already think it is one of the worlds most versatile fruits, a visit to China will quickly change your mind. From buying a whole chilled cucumber on the streets of Chengdu (and eating it like it’s a candy bar), to stir-frying it with chili, to throwing it in your favorite soup – we love the cucumber.

Its most popular form is as a cold dish, the Chinese version of a salad, and is enjoyed throughout the year. Its name, 凉拌黄瓜 (liángbàn huángguā) says just what it is: Cold Cucumber. Whether paired with flame grilled skewered meat or with your favorite spicy dish, you’ll find this “salad” on menus all over China. This recipe is what you’ll find in Sichuan, straight from our family’s kitchen to yours.

Recipe Notes:

Feel free to get a bit creative once you’ve got the flavors down. Common additions are wood-ear fungus, boiled peanuts, tofu skin, and/or diced red chilis.

Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 60 mins
Skill Level: Beginner


Items marked with a * are included in our Sichuan Recipe Box.

2-3 long cucumbers, 1lb / 450g

8 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

1 Tbsp Chinese dark vinegar *

1 tsp oyster sauce (optional)


  1. To prepare the cucumbers, cut off each end to avoid any bitterness. Then cut them into lengthwise quarters. Taking a small knife, slice along the seedy edge to remove the seeds and excess moisture. Finally, chop into 1-inch chunks and place them into large bowl.

  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Adjust salt and vinegar to taste, if needed.

  3. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours, until chilled.

Note: This dish should be eaten the same day and not kept in the fridge for long. It’s not a case of the longer it chills the better, so we recommend eating it shortly after it’s chilled. Do not keep in the fridge overnight or for more than 12 hours.

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