Cucumber Salad With Magic Spice Blend

July  1, 2018
10 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

With a touch of spiky lime juice and a Salt Bae throw of my Magic Spice Blend, this tastes not unlike cucumbers with Tajín. Addictive, in other words. Plus, it's a three-ingredient salad when you need it the most (on busy weeknights like tonight). —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: My Lip-Smacking BBQ Ribs & the Secret Spice Blend That Makes Them Sing. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into medallions
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon Magic Spice Blend, recipe follows
  • Magic Spice Blend
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika (you can use regular sweet paprika if you don't like the taste of smoked)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed, crushed in the palm of your hand
  1. On a large plate, lay the cucumber slices in a single layer.
  2. Sprinkle over the lime juice and 1 teaspoon of the Magic Spice Blend.
  1. Magic Spice Blend
  2. Spoon all of the ingredients into a Mason jar and shake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Anita Lowe
    Anita Lowe
  • Cindy Bailey
    Cindy Bailey
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
  • Mary Henderson
    Mary Henderson
Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.

10 Reviews

Anita L. May 18, 2020
Looks good. Old Bay is good with vinegar & cucumbers. May try with lime juice too!
Titi June 17, 2019
I made this tonight for dinner, modified the spice blend a little because I did not have all the ingredients but the dish was delicious! The kids went crazy about it, eating almost the whole plate of cucumber by themselves (with extra spices on top, for good measure). We will have to try it with everything now!
Eric K. August 8, 2019
Cindy B. August 10, 2018
Has anyone tried this mix on anything else besides cucumbers?
Eric K. August 14, 2018
Hi Cindy, I outline in the article everything I love to put this spice blend on (ribs, chicken, salmon, etc.): Or are you talking about other fruits/vegetables? This would taste great on melon (really!). Let me know how it goes.
Rochelle August 7, 2019
Corn on the Cob! We were having corn for dinner after making this truly "magical" spice blend with cucumbers (which were delicious Eric!). I'd already made some miso butter for the corn, but thought what the heck and sprinkled some on top....Fantastic. This reminded me of how I would prepare corn for my kids many years ago with (horrors) Lawry's Seasoned salt... put approx. 1/4 cup of Magic Spice blend in a small bowl and press a halved lemon (or lime) into spice mix to adhere and rub lemon into corn to smear mix and lemon juice onto corn. I know this mix will work much much better, and fat free! Can't wait to try this on chicken thighs!
Eric K. August 8, 2019
anna July 6, 2018
Can you use celery salt instead of celery seed? & if so how?
Mary H. August 10, 2018
I would think you could, however, you will need to adjust the kosher salt to taste.
Eric K. August 14, 2018
Thanks, Mary. Anna: You can! I'd use about a tablespoon of celery salt in that case. Just lower the kosher salt amount to taste, maybe even nix it completely and season the final dish w/ salt if it needs it. Some celery salts can be, well, quite salty.