asparagus and cucumber salad with mint soy dressing


asparagus and cucumber salad


It’s hard to have dinner parties in New York City.  Unless you live in Manhattan (and really an accessible location on the island) and have a big space in the city, it’s hard to host something.  Especially because there are the folks who refuse to leave their borough – ahem, BK- and then there are folks that just have access to great and affordable food without having to cook – raising the roof to Queens…wait…is that too 2 thousand and 1?- It’s really hard to have the energy or motivation to do a house party. (yes Erika, that was the worst grammatically written sentence that could have ever been composed on this blog).   But in the rare time that myself, or some friends choose to have a house party I jump on the opportunity.  The thrill of creating a dish that will last a long train ride or the excitement of what I’m going to feast on gets me excited.

A couple of months ago it was a buddy of mine’s birthday.  He hosted a small house party at his place and his roommates cooked for him.  It was exciting because: 1) I haven’t seen them all for a while and it was due time that I did.  2) I heard that there was going to be coconut crab, and after extensive googling I was intrigued and scared at the same time as to how one got a coconut crab and what it would taste like. [Note to everyone:  it wasn’t actually a coconut crab but more so the dish name cooked with blue crab.  From the google images, the blue crab was probably the tastier choice.] and 3) I needed to check out their place, and might as well make the trip to the Bronx

It was really delicious, the crab curry/soup, but what really got my attention was this salad that was made by the chef of the evening and my friend: Abby.  It was a cucumber asparagus mint salad with a soy cilantro dressing.  Perfect for the summer, or spring and great as a lunch or side for anything.  I devoured it, Abby was telling me the story of where the dressing came from, but I must admit-I was too busy shoveling my face with the crisp, refreshing, tangy, savory dish before me.  Maybe she could post a comment about the origination of the dressing if she reads this.

The dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to a week.  It gets stronger each day, so maybe add some water to help dilute it to taste.  Also, the proportions are for you to play with.  As long as you make sure there is balance, it will taste deliciously complex.


1 bunch asparagus, 1 inch slices

1 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced into 1 inch spears

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1 medium shallot, minced

1/4 cup scallion, minced

2 tbs fresh mint, minced

3 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs soy sauce

2½ tbs agave syrup or sugar

1 thai chili, minced (optional)


boil water in a large pot

mix scallions, mint, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili, and agave syrup or sugar in a bowl; let rest

cook asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until slightly crisp and submerge in ice water till completely chilled

mix all asparagus, shallots, cucumber, and cilantro in a large bowl and pour on dressing to taste

serve slightly chilled or at room temperature

-serves 6 –


5 Responses to “asparagus and cucumber salad with mint soy dressing”

  1. 1 juyeon
    April 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you, Abby! This is a great summer dish that is so light and … summer! ^^ one of my favorite. So easy to make too. I love it! I love you!

  2. 4 Brent
    July 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Loved this recipe…..great combinations!
    I served this with chicken Satay burgers!

    • July 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

      Brent, I’m glad you enjoyed this. It’s commonly my go to on a hot and humid summer day. It sounds awesome paired with chicken satay. Must try that sometime.

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