Cucumber and Fennel Salad with a Chinese Vinaigrette

By Bevi
March 23, 2013

Author Notes: My business colleague came home from a recent trip to China, and told me the only fresh vegetables she had were cucumbers prepared in a vinaigrette that she guessed had rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and some spicy heat. I was intrigued by her recipe because i thought that raw fennel would be an interesting addition to the dish. This salad is refreshing as a side, and is easily portable.Bevi

Food52 Review: This was awesome. Super easy and very tasty. I thought fennel and sesame might be a bit weird, but I'm into it now. I didn't do anything different and it would totally be fine with an English cuke if you didn't want to find the Persians. The weight of the fennel was 220g and the total cukes was 330g. Stephanie Bourgeois

Serves: 4
Prep time: 1 hrs
Cook time: 5 min


For the salad

  • 4 small Persian cucumbers, very thinly sliced by hand or with a mandolin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered, and then sliced very thinly with a mandolin
  • 1 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
In This Recipe


  1. Place the sliced cucumbers in a sieve and salt them. Allow them to sit and drain for an hour. Pat dry.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a small pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the red pepper flakes. Stir for about a minute, and remove from the heat.
  3. Stir together the rice vinegar and the sugar, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sesame oil. Blend thoroughly
  4. Place the cucumbers and fennel in a bowl. Add the vinaigrette and stir well. Place in the refrigerator and chill, stirring often.
  5. Serve as a side and enjoy.

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