Thai Cucumber Noodle Salad

Don’t let the title of this recipe fool you- there are both cucumber noodles AND regular noodles in this pasta recipe. Phew. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let me describe it to you: crisp cucumber noodles and cooked spaghetti get a bath in a delicious nutty, gingery, garlicky, bright sauce. Sound good? Let’s make it!

Ingredients needed to make Thai Cucumber Noodle Salad

You need a few cucumbers, a half pound of your favorite long noodle variety, and a few other pantry and fridge staples to pull this dish off. Disclaimer: it makes quite a lot of noodle salad! Perfect for a large gathering, prepped lunches for the week, or one very hungry family. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cucumbers
  • Long, skinny pasta
  • Raw almonds
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Creamy almond butter
  • Coconut milk, canned
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Soy sauce, or gluten free Tamari
  • Curry powder
  • Cayenne pepper

Tools used to make Thai Cucumber Noodle Salad

While you don’t need a lot of equipment to make this dish, you absolutely need a spiralizer if you want to achieve the long cucumber noodles you see in the photo. If you don’t have one, you could always ribbon the cucumbers using a peeler, or just serve them chopped up in the salad (both would be great). Other than that, you’ll need basic equipment, including:

  • Large pot, for boiling noodles
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife
  • Small skillet or pan
  • Can opener

How to make Thai Cucumber Noodle Salad

This recipe is quite simple, but does require one key prep step to ensure your finished salad is crisp and saucy, NOT watery. That key step? Squeeze as much liquid out of your cucumber noodles as possible before adding them to the overall dish. To do this, begin by spiralizing the cucumbers. Lay the spiralized cucumbers onto a clean dish towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes (the salt will draw out excess water), then gently squeeze them with the dish towel to get all that juice out of there. You’ll be really glad you did, because leaving the cucumbers as-is will make your noodle salad soggy, rather than delish.

Once your cucumbers have been prepped, the rest of the dish comes together in a flash. Boil the noodles until al dente, crush and toast the almonds, and whisk together the sauce. Then, mix everything together, plate on your favorite serving platter, and top with the almonds and some fresh cilantro. It’s so delicious and simple!

Looking for other simple recipes from The Ardent Cook?

Warm Spring Veggie and Wild Rice Salad

Creamy Sausage and Kale Rigatoni

Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita

Recipe Ingredients

For the Noodles

2 medium cucumbers, spiralized

8oz spaghetti, or other long noodle of choice 

1/2 cup raw almonds, crushed

Fresh cilantro, for serving

For the Dressing

¾ cup creamy almond butter

¾ cup coconut milk

Juice of 1 lime (approx. 3 Tbsp) 

1 Tbsp minced ginger

1 Tbsp minced garlic

Handful cilantro (about 2 Tbsp minced)

2 Tbsp soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)

1 ½ tsp curry powder

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Recipe Instructions

  1. Make the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook according to package instructions.
  2. Prep the cucumber: Spiralize the cucumber. Lay cucumber onto a clean dish towel and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, allowing the salt the draw out excess liquid, then wrap in the dish towel and squeeze the liquid out gently.
  3. Make the dressing: In a mixing bowl (or the bowl of a food processor), combine almond butter, coconut milk, lime juice, minced ginger, minced garlic, cilantro, soy sauce, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. Whisk (or process) until thoroughly combined.
  4. Toast the almonds: Heat a clean, dry skillet over medium heat. Toast the nuts for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown and fragrant.
  5. Assemble the salad: Combine cooked noodles and cucumber noodles with approximately 2/3 of the dressing. Serve topped with the toasted almonds, additional cilantro, and remaining sauce on the side. Enjoy!

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