Ponzu Cucumber Salad

There is a fun dynamic on certain foods in my house.  There are some no-one likes (eggplant – I want to, but even I don’t.)  There are lots we all like (chicken, tacos, Eggs Benedict – this list could go on).  But then there are those that some like, some don’t like and some like, but only if done in a certain way.  One of these things are Cucumbers.

To clarrify positions – I am pro cucumbers, Eric is anti-cucumbers (or I should say cucumbers are anti-Eric – they just have never got along) and Addi is somewhere in the middle.  She likes cucumbers when they are just sliced and eaten with ranch dressing.  It shouldn’t be a big surprise, but I like them that way AND any other creative way I can dress them up.

This was the final dish served for bookclub. Alongside the Hawaiian pork, Cole slaw and ricotta with tropical salsa. It really was a meal about great flavors and fresh food. I originally saw this recipe on a food network show and have been excited reason to make it – bookclub was that reason.

The whole meal…minus ricotta spread.

This was also the first time I have been able to work with Ponzu. I love when I get to try new ingredients and flavors. It looks just like soy sauce…almost identical bottles and the flavor was a light, but full fermented citrus sauce that I will be using for dipping sauces, in stir fries and salad dressing (like this one).

Easy to assemble, full of great flavors, and a fun side dish while entertaining. Enjoy!

Ponzu Cucumber Salad


  • 2 English cucumbers, sliced down the middle and seeds removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 Tbls Ponzu sauce
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp coconut amino
  • 1 tsp Sombal Oelek
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 Tbls rough chop cilantro


Start by sweating the cucumbers. After you halve, de-seed the cucumbers by running a spoon down the center until all seeds scraped out. Place the halves skin side up and using the flat side of a knife blade, press down and smash the cucumbers. Then cut into 1 inch sections. Place the cucumbers in a colander, salt them thoroughly, and place a plate with cans for weight on top to sweat out the liquid for 30-40 minutes.

When the cucumbers are ready, make the dressing by whisking ponzu, lemon juice, coconut amino, sambal, oil, ginger, and garlic. I make this in a pourable measuring cup for ease.

Combine cucumbers, cilantro and green onions. Top with dressing and chill in refrigerator. After 30 minutes, when the dressing has worked its way into the cucumbers, it’s ready to serve.

Happy Salading!!!

*Recipe from Food Network Valarie Bertonelli show.

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