Cucumber-Mango Salad

Eat more fruits and vegetables! Good advice, right? So! Here's one way to eat both healthy foods at once, a simple vegetable-fruit salad, a compelling partnership of wet crunchy cucumber and sweet soft mango united by a simple lime vinaigrette with the tiniest spikes of honey and hot sauce. Be prepared to put this salad on your list of "favorite summer recipes" – an intriguing/compelling/surprising side for summer suppers like fish, burgers, grilled chicken, etc. So good, this!

Cucumber-Mango Salad, another favorite summer salad ♥ KitchenParade.com with tiny spikes of honey & hot sauce.

Real Food, Fresh & Fun. Mere Minutes to the Table. Not just easy, Summer Easy. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Potluck & Party Friendly. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian & Easily Made Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free.

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Tasting the Color of a Mango?

Ahhh summer! If ever there's a time to "eat the rainbow" of fruits and vegetables, it's n-o-w NOW.

When was the last time you tasted a mango, really?

For the next few months, forget apples and bananas and even those four bags of cranberries that just unexpectedly re-emerged from the freezer. (Talkin' to myself, here!)

And don't let the summer pass without mango and melon to say nothing of a child's weight of peaches and plums.

'Tis time to seek out summer's very best!

Cucumber-Mango Salad, another favorite summer salad ♥ KitchenParade.com with tiny spikes of honey & hot sauce.

The Latest in a New Cadre of Recipes

For the last while, my recipe direction has taken a slight turn.

I want to buy nearly anything, whatever looks good, knowing that I already have at least one simple, realistic everyday way to use it.

This latest summery salad exceeds that high standard by including not just one special ingredient but two!


  • Mangos – My current mango recipes veer sweet vs savory.
  • Persian Cucumbers – I'm always trying to use up these pretty little mini cucumbers since they just don't stay fresh as long as other cucumbers.

So here's a great combination – cucumber and mango together – one you might not have thought of or tried before. I hope you love it like we do!

And maybe just maybe it'll fit a hole in your own collection of recipes ...

Persian Cucumbers for Cucumber-Mango Salad, another favorite summer salad ♥ KitchenParade.com with tiny spikes of honey & hot sauce.

What Are Persian Cucumbers aka Iranian Cucumbers?

You might be calling these "baby cucumbers" or think of them as "those cute little cucumbers"!

Grocery stores are labeling them "mini burpless cucumbers".

Here's how they compare to those long and skinny English cucumbers and more typical old-fashioned fat and plump garden cucumbers.

Persian Cucumbers are ...


  • ... fruit (not vegetables, just like other cucumbers) botanically speaking and grow on long, wandering vines.
  • ... short, about six inches long, definitely shorter than a long, skinny English cucumber and all but the youngest garden cucumbers.
  • ... small, about an inch in diameter, definitely smaller than an English cucumber and any garden cucumbers.
  • ... the perfect size for one or two servings, extra-easy to use for a quick lunch salad. Ever eat a whole cucumber before now? A small one, you will!
  • ... green in color like other cucumbers.
  • ... known for thin and tender skins, no need to "stripe" or peel a Persian cucumber unless for aesthetics.
  • ... less watery than other cucumbers.
  • ... less seedy than other cucumbers, especially garden cucumbers.
  • ... often sold in packages vs individually, the packaging prevents damage to the tender skins.
  • ... more perishable than other cucumbers. I've learned to keep them left open to the air on a shelf in the refrigerator, then they keep for about a week. If they're stored in an airtight container or in a vegetable drawer in the fridge, the skins can turn a little slimy within a few days.
  • ... burpless! thus less likely to cause digestive issues.
  • ... increasingly easy to find, check your grocery's produce section, Trader Joe's and Sam's Club.
  • ... fun! and cute! Did I mention that Persian cucumbers are small and fun and cute?! They are!
Cucumber-Mango Salad, another favorite summer salad ♥ KitchenParade.com with tiny spikes of honey & hot sauce.

What's In Cucumber-Mango Salad?

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.


  • Persian Cucumbers Small Persian cucumbers work especially well here, the skins are tender, the interior flesh is less watery and the seeds small.
  • Fresh Mangoes I don't know about you, but when I buy mangoes, I need a plan otherwise they just get sad and shriveled. Mangos work perfectly here, a sweet foil paired with the neutral cucumbers.
  • A Little Red Onion To avoid the salad (and your breath) turning all onion-y, slice it as thin as you can and drop it into the vinaigrette to soak a bit, just while you're cutting up the mangoes and cucumber.
  • Lime Vinaigrette Somebody should bottle this stuff, it's so good, so versatile! It's made with fresh lime juice, white wine vinegar, a splash of olive oil and a touch of sweet honey.
  • Hot Sauce But what makes this vinaigrette really sing? A teaspoon or two of hot sauce! It adds just a smidgin of heat, a great balance for the sweet fruit.

Substitution Ideas

  • Instead of Persian Cucumbers Use an English cucumber, its skin might use a little "striping" before dicing. Or use a regular garden cucumber, if the skin is too tough, peel it or "stripe" it with a vegetable peeler.
  • Instead of Fresh Mangoes Consider other soft summer fruits, peaches and apricots come to mind. But! What you're looking for here is not just sweetness but softness so diced avocado would be good here too.
  • Instead of Red Onion Cut thin slices of a shallot or a sweet onion (some times labeled "Vidalia" or "WallaWalla") or cut up one or two green onions, both the white and green parts.
  • Instead of Fresh Mint Select another summery fresh herb, basil or cilantro or tarragon or even parsley. No fresh herbs? Just carry on ...
  • Instead of Lime Juice Use lemon juice or more vinegar.
  • Instead of White Wine Vinegar Check your pantry for another clear but mild vinegar. I stock up on unseasoned rice vinegar for just this purpose. If you don't have another clear, mild vinegar (regular white vinegar is too harsh for this salad), use one that's mild and light in color, maybe apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar or even red wine vinegar.
  • Instead of Olive Oil Select another good salad oil, maybe avocado oil.
  • Instead of Honey For a vegan Cucumber-Mango Salad, turn to a plant-based natural sweetener like maple syrup or agave. Otherwise, use a tiny sprinkle of sugar. Or make a simple syrup, it's like liquid sugar. Just bring 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil. Keep it in the fridge in a squeeze bottles (affiliate link), it's great to have on hand for a quick, inexpensive sweetener.
  • Instead of Frank's Original Hot Sauce Choose another hot sauce like Tabasco or sriracha or a tiny spoon of chipotle in adobo sauce. That said, Frank's became our "house" hot sauce after chef after chef recommended it while I was translating restaurant recipes for home cooks for my column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. You might also go another direction for a little heat, maybe ground chipotle, tajin or sumac.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!


  • Would frozen mango work? I think so. Cutting up a mango is slightly fiddly though not difficult. So if you're tempted by frozen mango, go for it though do allow some extra time for thawing. Frozen mango pieces can be large, you might need to cut them up a little too, this is probably easiest mid-thaw.
Cucumber-Mango Salad, another favorite summer salad ♥ KitchenParade.com with tiny spikes of honey & hot sauce.

For Best Results

For my weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, I interviewed chefs and translated their restaurant recipes for home kitchens. The most iluminating question? "How can a home cook ensure the same results?" So now I ask that question of myself, too, for my own recipes. Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!


Soak the Onion Raw onion in salads can be a little, well, onion-y. A good truck to combat this is to cut the onion very fine and then soak it in a liquid.

For Cucumber-Mango Salad, I've written the recipe expressly to do this naturally, without a separate step or any delay. Just make the vinaigrette first, then drop in the onion slices as they're prepped. Even just a few minutes makes a huge difference.


Add Hot Sauce and Salt At the End So many of my cooking tips relate to timing, with any luck these tips may be adopted not just in my recipes but in other cooking projects as well.

For Cucumber-Mango Salad, you make the Lime Vinaigrette first so the onion can soak.

But wait until the onion, mango, cucumber and mint are mixed in to add first the hot sauce and then the salt – that way, you've got all the flavors in to taste exactly how much hot sauce is right for your palate, and then, if any salt would further brighten the salad. Depending on your taste, you may not need any at salt at all!

What Makes This Recipe Special

  • Gorgeous color!
  • Even with sweet fruit, it's a savory vegetable salad, not a sweet fruit salad
  • A great way to use just one or two fresh mangoes
  • Follows a simple formula, easy to replicate with other wet fruit and crunchy vegetables
  • No fancy ingredients, just a couple of mangoes plus cucumber and a few pantry ingredients
  • Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this simple salad recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...


Cucumber-Mango Salad, another favorite summer salad ♥ KitchenParade.com with tiny spikes of honey & hot sauce.



CUCUMBER-MANGO SALAD

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time-to-table: 20 minutes
Makes a generous 3 cups
    LIME VINAIGRETTE
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • About 2 teaspoons Frank's Original Hot Sauce (start with a splash, then add to taste)
  • Salt to taste
    SALAD
  • 1/4 cup (25g) very thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 ripe mangoes, diced (about 300g)
  • 4 small Persian cucumbers (about 300g), quartered lengthwise, then diced
  • 2 or more tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

MIX THE VINAIGRETTE In a bowl large enough to hold the entire salad, whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, olive oil and honey. Hold off on the Hot Sauce and salt for the moment.

PREP THE SALAD Stir the onion into the Vinaigrette as soon as it's cut, this helps "pickle" and soften the onion just a bit.

Stir in the mango, cucumber and fresh mint.

TASTE & ADJUST Take a taste, then a splash of Hot Sauce first, enough to add just a small bite of heat, then season with salt.

TO SERVE Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours until ready to serve.

SERVING IDEAS Cucumber-Mango Salad has this light, fresh appeal. That means it works well with other light foods (fish, grill chicken breasts, etc.) but also that it's a welcome contrast with richer foods (burgers, tacos, etc.) and even richer salads (lookin' at you, potato salads and pastas salads).
ALANNA's TIPS If you're winging it volume-wise, still try to keep the 1:1 cucumber:mango balance. This combo makes a great relish, just chop up the mango and cucumber into much smaller pieces. Always running out of fresh limes? Me too. That's why I make sure to keep a handful of lemons and limes in the freezer, ready at a moment's notice. They freeze beautifully right in their colorful jackets. To thaw, let rest at room temperature for an hour or two. Otherwise, thaw the fruit in the microwave 30 seconds at a time for maybe 90 seconds – but do take care, the juice inside gets hot-hot-hot. No white wine vinegar? No problem, choose another clear mild vinegar like rice vinegar or a white balsamic. Long thin English cucumbers work well for this salad. To use regular garden cucumbers, peel or stripe the skins (which can be a little tough) and if they're big, scoop the seeds out of the centers before cutting up. We love Frank's Original Hot Sauce but use whatever you have to taste, including sriracha and Tabasco.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See https://www.kitchenparade.com/2022/07/cucumber-mango-salad.html.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 67 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 12mg Sodium; 12g Carb; 1g Fiber; 9g Sugar; 1g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 1 & myWW green 1 & blue 1 & purple 1 & future WW points CALORIE COUNTERS 100-calorie serving = 3/4 cup (1g protein).

More Cucumber Salad Inspiration

Favorite Summer Salad recipes ♥ KitchenParade.com, a huge super-organized collection of healthy salads for quick lunches, salad suppers, potlucks and parties.
Smitten Kitchen's Avocado-Cucumber Salad ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, addictively good, so many variations. Low Carb. Gluten Free.

Old Liz's Old-Fashioned Cucumber & Tomato Salad, another easy summer salad ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Fresh & Seasonal. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegan. Pinterest Loves It! Best Recipes 2008.

Creamy Ricotta with Tomato-Cucumber-Corn Salad Creamy Ricotta with Tomato-Cucumber-Corn Salad ♥ KitchenParade.com, a simple tomato-cucumber-corn salad served with Homemade Ricotta.

More Mango Moves

more
~ mango recipes ~
Mango Lassi with Fresh Mint ♥ KitchenParade.com, an Indian-style mango smoothie.

Summer Couscous with Mango & Tomato ♥ KitchenParade.com, couscous all dressed up for summer, quick to make and studded with bites of fresh mango and perfectly ripe summer tomatoes.

Mango Chicken Salad, another Quick Supper ♥ KitchenParade.com, quick and easy chicken salad, just cooked chicken with chunks of mango in a light yogurt sauce.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ mango recipes ~
~ cucumber recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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20222

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. Anonymous7/06/2022

    Hi Alanna
    I'm hoping you have a solution to the dilemma of cooking for my onion-hating daughter. I would love to make this salad, but there is no way she would eat it if I put onion in it (even if I made them more mild -- it's the slimy texture she despises). Could I use onion powder in the dressing? What do you think?
    Nancy - Arizona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy ~ Oh those pesky daughters! :-) Might she tolerate chive? Or pickled onion? I wouldn’t think onion powder would work. But here’s what will work for sure, at least for this recipe. Make it in two bowls, one for her, one for you, one without onion and the other with. Problem solved! And maybe she does the extra dishes ... tee tee. PS Sorry for slow reply, I’ve been traveling for three weeks and am just now catching up..

      Delete

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna