All it takes to make this super simple, totally fresh, cucumber, watermelon and red bell pepper salad is a few minutes of chopping and an easy sesame and lime-flavored Asian dressing for a totally crunchy bite.
“But wait, I was going to make my Mediterranean panzanella salad…” My recipe making plans were foiled once again. I had my heart set, but when my husband told me he was making his favorite Asian chicken lettuce wraps to take with us for our outdoor concert picnicking with the Drive By Truckers at SLC’s Red Butte Gardens, I said, “Hey, no big deal, I can switch things out to go with that.” So with a simple pivot and a few ingredient swaps, I created a salad the fit right into my husband’s Asian-inspired menu plans.
That’s what I love about super simple recipes like this one: it doesn’t take much to change it to fit any ethnic flavor profile, creating something totally fresh and totally new that fits into whatever you’re craving now. Plus,because it’s sturdy ingredients, this one is a great salad for potlucks or brunch, lunch, or dinners, and it holds up in the fridge, even for a few days.
About the recipe
There isn’t much about this recipe that takes a whole lot of time or requires a whole lot of effort, and the ingredients are seasonal, fresh right now, but also readily available any time of year.
I used regular garden-style cucumbers, the same variety you’d add to any green salad, but you can also use hothouse cucumbers or Persian cucumbers for that desired crunch that only cucumbers can provide. Cut your cucumbers on the larger side so that you can really get a mouth full of flavor.
To add a bite of fresh sweetness I added chunks of watermelon that totally compliments the savory Thai flavors of the dressing. Once again, I cut the pieces in about the same size as the cucumbers and the red bell pepper, keeping each bite just about the same size. If you’re looking to add a little more pizzazz in your presentation, use a melon baller like I did in this salad for a touch more dramatic flair.
The salad dressing really could be easier. Use a good quality seasoned rice wine vinegar, a bit of lime juice, and just a touch of sesame oil to build the Asian Thai flavored profile. I preferred to grate my fresh ginger with a microplane instead of mincing it so it melds into the dressing and you can avoid those hot spicy ginger bites.
Delicious Main Dish Recipe Ideas to Serve With this Salad
Make dinner great again when you cook brown or white rice, quinoa, or soba noodles as a side to this salad with one of the dinner recipes below. Cilantro Lime Chicken Almond Crusted Cod with Coconut Rice and Ginger Spinach Sesame Beef Tacos Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs Grilled Salmon Filet with Cucumber Dill Sauce Slow Cooker Asian-Style Ribs with Sesame-Citrus Sprinkle Honey Garlic Sriracha Chicken If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Crunchy Asian Cucumber Watermelon Salad
- 2 cucumbers , cut into 1-inch pieces and then quartered
- 2 cups watermelon , cut into ½-inch squares
- 1 red bell pepper , seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ red onion , thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ginger , grated
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup cilantro , chopped
- ¼ cup Thai basil , chopped
- Place the chopped cucumbers, watermelon, red bell pepper and red onion in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sugar, grated ginger, lime juice, sesame oil and kosher and add to the cucumber mixture. Toss lightly then add the fresh herbs and season with more kosher salt to taste. Refrigerate and serve.
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I started making this recipe last summer and ABSOLUTELU LOVE IT!!! I have shared it with so many people…..who also love it!! What I like about the recipe is that you can switch up the ingredients (like more or less cucumbers or watermelon) to suit your taste.
Las Vegas, NV
Thanks for the putting all together and coming up with this beautiful blog. I think any food that has Asian on it i would like it. I definitely would like to make this Asian salad soon.
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This salad is absolutely delicious! Simple to make and very crisp and refreshing!
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Crunchy Asian cucumber watermelon salad looks really good. With its name it sounds like Asian cultural food. Thank for providing information on Asian salad.
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Laura | Tutti Dolci
This looks like a go-to salad for me! Love the refreshing watermelon and cucumber, and the Asian-inspired dressing is such a nice twist!
So yummy! My family will surely loves this. I’m definitely making this for the weekend. Thanks
Traci | Vanilla And Bean
Effortless summer salads are the best and with all the CSA produce coming in, why not? Such a cooling and delicious salad, Heidi. Now, I just gotta get my hands on some Thai basil!
Thanks for sharing wonderful ideas!! Actually i was looking for this. I was having a lot of doubts related to salad. But you clear my all doubts. Thanks for sharing wonderful ideas!!! Hope it may help me too. :)
I like your food even though you have not eaten them. Perhaps you open a restaurant to serve some readers on the blog
Good suggestion Fresh Malina. I would suggest to host some events at cultatrad. Share your cooking expertise, love to food, and make money on the side. I am pretty sure your blog readers and followers like myself gonna enjoy it a lot.
This will be my new DIY dish. New foods to me.