Ensaladang Pipino is a cucumber salad dressed with a simple Filipino-style vinaigrette. It’s easy, budget-friendly, and makes a tasty side dish for grilled or fried fish and meat.
As we are in the smack of grilling season, I’ve been keeping a steady supply of this Filipino-style cucumber salad in the refrigerator. It’s so easy to put together and its crisp texture and refreshing taste are always a treat.
If you’re looking for the perfect side dish for your summer cookouts and family dinners, this ensaladang pipino is for you! It’s a tasty accompaniment to your favorite barbecued meats, grilled seafood, or just about any meal you want a pop of freshness and crunch.
What you’ll need
- Cucumbers– I used regular slicing cucumbers for the recipe as it’s more affordable and readily available in the Philippines. Some of my favorite cukes to use are Persian or English cucumbers which have nice, thin skins that don’t have to be peeled and are mostly seedless.
- Red onions– they add a pop of color, but any type of onion you have on hand will work.
- Thai chili peppers– brings a delicious kick of heat; omit for a kid-friendly version
- Vinegar– I like to use cane vinegar (Datu Puti) but feel free to experiment with various types of vinegar such as distilled white, balsamic, red or white wine, rice wine, or apple cider.
- Fish sauce– for umami flavor
- Sesame oil– I love the Asian touch of flavor and aroma; you can subsitute a more neutral tasting oil such as canola or olive oil
- Sugar– balances the tangy flavors with a hint of sweetness
- Salt and pepper– season to taste
- Make the salad more colorful and nutrition-packed by adding tomato slices or bell pepper strips.
- For uniform thickness, use a mandolin.
- Some cucumbers have thin skins while others have thick, waxy skins. You can keep the skin on, peel a few strips around the cucumber, or peel completely. I personally like to keep the skin on for extra crunch and fiber.
Cucumbers are usually covered in edible wax to prevent moisture loss during transportation. If you’re keeping the skin on, follow the steps below on how to remove the wax coating if you like.
How to remove wax from cucumbers
- Rinse the cucumbers under cold water.
- Soak them in a bowl of equal parts water and vinegar for about one to two minutes.
- Rub with a clean kitchen or paper towel to remove the wax.
- Rinse under cold water to remove any remaining wax.
- Use immediately.
How to make ahead
- Cucumbers have high water content and will dispel a lot of liquid once mixed with the dressing. Store the vegetable and dressing separately and toss together when ready to serve. Enjoy immediately!
- For longer storage, salt the cucumbers for a few minutes and squeeze the excess liquid first before tossing with the rest of the ingredients.
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Thai chili pepper, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, freshly cracked
- 2 large cucumbers, washed and sliced thinly
- 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- In a small bowl, combine vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, chilis, sugar, salt and peppercorns. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved.
- In a large bowl, combine cucumber and onions.
- Add vinegar mixture and toss gently. Chill in the refrigerator to allow flavors to meld.
- For uniform thickness, use a mandolin to slice.
- Some types of cucumber have thin skins while others have thick, waxy skins. Depending on your preference and the variety of cukes you use, you can keep the skin on, peel a few strips around the cucumber, or peel completely.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”