This Asian Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect summer dish, packed with sweet and savory flavors. It has a delightful crunchy texture and pairs well with many main courses. Super easy recipe!

Asian flavored pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl.

Pineapple is a sweet fruit that’s delicious on its own, but turning it into a salad makes it even better. I had a ripe pineapple, so I mixed it with crunchy cucumber and added a flavorful fish sauce dressing.

Pineapple and cucumber might seem like an unusual pair, but they work really well together. The sweetness of the pineapple balances the crispness of the cucumber, creating a refreshing and tasty combo.

Pineapple cucumber salad in two small bowls.

With classic Asian ingredients like fish sauce and dried shrimp, this salad has a unique savory flavor that stands out from regular salads.

The result? A colorful, refreshing, and flavorful Asian-inspired salad that’s perfect for any summer potluck. It’s an easy, quick, and tasty side dish for any main course, especially dishes from southeast Asian cuisine!

If you’re looking for another savory dish made with pineapple, try my Pineapple Fried Rice recipe. This Thai-inspired cuisine is a perfect use for fresh pineapples and is very easy to put together.

Pineapple and cucumber tossed with herbs in a bowl.

Recipe Ingredients: What You’ll Need

These ingredients work in harmony to create a bright and flavorful salad, adding a punch of flavor that elevates the entire dish.

Recipe ingredients for pineapple cucumber salad
  • Pineapple: Use a well-ripened, fresh pineapple that is cleaned and thinly sliced.
  • Cucumber: English cucumber or a similar kind works best.
  • Dried Shrimp: This is an optional ingredient, but adding a small amount deepens the umami flavor of the dish in a way that you can’t quite detect as shrimp.
    • You can obviously omit it if you prefer not to use it.
  • Fish Sauce: This doesn’t just season the salad; it adds an authentic Asian taste profile.
  • Lime Juice: This makes the salad more refreshing and helps balance the sweetness.
  • Brown Sugar: Adjust the amount as needed. If your pineapple is very sweet, you might not even need it.
    • If you have palm sugar, it’s even better, and you can use that instead.
  • Red Chili and Shallot: These ingredients add a savory touch and gentle heat to the dish. If you prefer less heat, be sure to remove the seeds from the chili.
    • Should shallots be unavailable, you can replace them with red onion.
  • Herbs: Fresh herbs like cilantro and mint accentuate the flavors of pineapple and cucumber, tying them together beautifully in the salad.

How to make Asian Pineapple Cucumber Salad

Prepare Pineapple

Cutting a pineapple can be a bit tricky, but often, peeling pineapple is half the fun. Taking your time to remove the skin and core will pay off in the delectable taste of your salad. You can even save the core to infuse water or make juice, so nothing goes to waste.

You can purchase pre-skinned pineapple at the store if you don’t want to deal with it, but often, peeling pineapple is half the fun.

Salt cucumbers

Tossing the cucumber slices with a little bit of salt helps to extract some moisture, ensuring that they retain their crispness and become even more crunchy. This technique not only enhances the texture but also prevents the salad from becoming too watery from the natural liquids found in fresh cucumbers

  • Thinly slice the cucumber and place it in a bowl. Add salt, toss together, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to draw out some moisture.
  • Rinse the cucumber and gently squeeze out the extra moisture.

Make Dressing

In a large salad bowl, combine the pineapple, cucumber, shallot, chili, herbs, fish sauce, and lime juice

Optional dried shrimp:

  • This ingredient is optional, but if you want to add an umami kick to the salad, including dried shrimp is a good idea.
  • Finely chop them with a knife or use a grinder to prepare them for the dish.

Assemble Salad

  • Toss salads with the dressing until well combined.
  • Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.

Helpful Tips

How to pick a well-ripen pineapple:

  • Look for a pineapple with a golden-yellow color, especially at the base. Gently press the skin; it should give slightly but not feel mushy.
  • A sweet, fragrant smell at the base is another good sign of ripeness.
  • Avoid pineapples with dark spots, dry-looking leaves, or a sour or fermented smell.

Dishes to Pair with Pineapple Cucumber Salad

Pineapple cucumber salad in serving bowls with forks.

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Asian flavored pineapple cucumber salad in a bowl.

Asian Pineapple Cucumber Salad

This Asian Pineapple Cucumber Salad is the perfect summer dish, packed with sweet and savory flavors. It has a delightful crunchy texture and pairs well with many main courses.
5 from 2 ratings

Ingredients

  • 1 small pineapple, cleaned and thinly sliced, about 4 cups
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 medium shallot, thinly sliced (See note below)
  • 2 oz (50g) dried shrimp, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tbsp), optional
  • 1 fresh red chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 – 1 tbsp brown sugar, or palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped, optional

Instructions 

  • Thinly slice the cucumber and place it in a bowl. Add salt, toss together, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to draw out some moisture. Rinse the cucumber and gently squeeze out the extra moisture.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine the pineapple, cucumber, shallot, dried shrimp (if using), chili, fish sauce, lime juice, and herbs. Toss everything together until well combined. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.

Notes

  • If shallots are not available, you can substitute them with red or white onion, using about 1/4 of a medium-sized onion.
Calories: 189kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 162mg, Sodium: 1150mg, Potassium: 455mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 507IU, Vitamin C: 129mg, Calcium: 113mg, Iron: 2mg
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