About This Cucumber Noodles Recipe
Noodles have always been a big part of Asian cuisine and culture, eventually becoming a popular food across the world. And the past few years have seen a global influx of vegetable substitutions for egg noodles. Courgettes, gourds, even cabbage — you name it, we were spiralizing it and making noodles.
This recipe for cucumber noodles is incredibly refreshing, bright, and has a wonderful texture. And unlike a lot of raw dishes that lack potency, this dish packs a punch of vibrant flavors.
The marriage of salty and slightly bitter soy sauce with sweet honey and creamy cashew nut butter is exacerbated by the brightness of lemon, the warmth of ginger, and that wonderful allium from the raw garlic clove.
Most kitchens have a spiralizer of sorts, which is the secret to this recipe. However, you could also make this dish by using a vegetable peeler and making ribbons with the cucumber instead.
Although this recipe does call for some minor specialist equipment, it’s actually incredibly low effort and super easy.
Coming home from a hard day of work? On the move and need a quick but nutritious meal between errands? Perhaps your body is craving a boost of nutrition? This recipe is just what you need — fast, fresh, and incredibly delicious.
What You Need for This Cucumber Noodles Recipe
- Cucumber: Cucumber is native to South Asia but is now grown on most continents. Being 96% water, cucumbers have the highest water content of any food, offering a wonderfully bright and refreshing flavor. It’s also a fairly versatile ingredient in terms of flavor pairings as it goes with a lot of other ingredients beautifully.
- Soy Sauce: A liquid condiment from China traditionally made from a fermented paste of soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and aspergillus. A big player in a lot of Asian cuisines, soy sauce adds a unique saltiness that regular sea salt just cannot compete with.
- Cashew Butter: Made from roasted cashew nuts, this nut butter has a similar consistency to thick peanut butter and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to this recipe.
- Honey: Nature’s nectar. Honey is made from honey bees and is a wonderful natural sweetener. Due to its viscous nature, it also helps bind the mixture together.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar is made by fermenting the sugars in rice first into alcohol and then into acid. It’s far less acidic than distilled white vinegar and has an almost sweet flavor. Unique in its taste and incomparable.
- Lemon: To add a little sharpness and brightness to the noodles. The rule to any meal is a good balance of salt, fat, and acid. Lemon is my chosen acid for this recipe as it can cut through the soy sauce and honey and prevent the dish from becoming too heavy or sweet.
- Ginger: Fresh ginger is used in this recipe not only to add some depth but also to add a bit of warmth and marry the other flavors of soy, honey, and lemon together. Ginger also adds a subtle hint of heat and works as a fantastic substitute in most dishes that need chilies.
- Garlic: Allium, glorious allium! A little goes a long way, and the finer the garlic the more intense the flavor. That’s why this recipe only calls for 1 clove, but it needs to be microplaned so it’s incredibly fine and almost paste-like.
- Scallions: Depending on where you are in the world, these green onions are called scallions or spring onions, amongst other names. Another major component in many Asian dishes and as a garnish, scallions are satisfyingly crunchy and a wonderful flavor pairing with cucumber.
- Sesame Seeds: In this recipe, the sesame seeds are purely aesthetic. Although, you can add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to the sauce if you wanted to really add another level of depth, warmth, and flavor to this brilliant raw dish.
- Cashew Nut Butter: You can substitute the cashew nut butter for any other type. The flavor profile of peanut butter would be the best alternative, but it would work well with hazelnut butter and almond butter also.
- Honey: You can make this recipe completely vegan if you substitute the honey for the same amount of agave syrup. Maple syrup probably wouldn’t be suitable in this one due to the unique taste of the syrup.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: There really isn’t a flavor substitute for this one. However, if you’re struggling to source it, you can omit the vinegar all together or replace it with half the amount of oyster sauce for a deeper, saltier flavor.
Can I Make This Ahead Of Time?
We recommend that you eat this dish immediately. This is mainly to prevent the cucumber wilting, discoloring, oxidizing, and looking a bit unappetizing. However, you can make the sauce ahead and store it in an air-proof container. And when it comes to eating, just spiralize the cucumber and mix together!
Is It Safe To Eat Raw Lemon Peel?
Absolutely! In fact, lemon peel or zest has a tonne of vitamins and minerals. However, you should be mindful about what sort of lemon you’re purchasing and if they’ve been treated with insecticides or pesticides. You can still eat the lemon zest, but wash it well before zesting. To err on the side of caution, I always buy organic lemons so I have the peace of mind they’ve not been treated.
Where Can I Find The Specialist Ingredients?
Most Asian grocery stores should carry rice wine. Nut butter has become so popular now, that you can always find it in health food shops and most supermarkets. Failing those options, you can order these ingredients on Amazon or online grocery stores.
Cucumber Noodles with Cashew, Soy, and Ginger Dressing
Fast, fresh, and delicious, these cucumber noodles with cashew, soy, and ginger dressing makes for an incredibly flavorful and healthy meal.
Yield: 2 portions
How To Make Cucumber Noodles Step By Step
To begin, slice the ends of the cucumber and slice the cucumber in half. This will determine the length of your noodles. Using a spiralizer on the finest setting, push through the cucumber until your noodles are beautifully curly.
In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, honey, nut butter, and rice wine vinegar. Using a microplane, grate in the lemon zest, ginger, and garlic clove and combine them well.
Tumble in the cucumber noodles, mixing well to ensure each strand has been fully coated.
Present in your chosen dish and scatter with the scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- You can easily scale this recipe up for parties, BBQs, or to feed the entire family at a gathering.
- Don’t overhandle the cucumber when you’re mixing it into the sauce. You want it to remain crunchy without releasing water into the dressing.
- If you want a thicker sauce, you can heat the dressing over low heat in a saucepan. Let it cool and then mix with cucumber.