This easy cucumber vinegar salad recipe is wonderful for warm weather as a refreshing side dish. Cucumber salad is a staple in Czech families because of its refreshing flavor and its versatility as a side dish for many different dishes.
➜ About this cucumber salad
It's a vegetable salad with grated cucumber in a distinctive water-based dressing. The tangy vinegar dressing is a sweet and sour combination of sugar, salt and vinegar and is very easy to make. To be clear, it contains no sour cream, onions, fresh dill or other herbs!
Apart from the Czech Republic, this salad is also popular with our southern neighbors in Slovakia, known as "uhorkový šalát."
To make Czech cucumber salad, grab the followings:
- English cucumber; or any seedless cucumber. When buying cucumbers, look for firm ones without blemishes or soft spots.
- Granulated sugar
- Water; cold
- Black pepper; ideally freshly ground
- Vinegar; the exact amount depends on the intensity of the vinegar's taste. Either use distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with 5% acidity.
✅ You’ll find the exact amount of ingredients below in the recipe card, which you can also print out.
➜ Instructions with Photos
There is nothing complicated about making this salad. Just add more sugar, vinegar, or salt to achieve the final satisfying taste of the dressing.
STEP 1: Remove the cucumber's outer peels and cut off the ends.
STEP 2: Roughly shred the cucumber. I used my large-hole hand grater. Another less common option for this salad is to grate thin slices of cucumber.
STEP 3: Make the watery salad dressing: Combine water, sugar, vinegar, salt, and ground pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. Adjust the flavor of the dressing to taste.
MY TIP: If desired, add a half teaspoon of sunflower or olive oil to the salad dressing.
STEP 4: Place grated cucumber in a bowl. Pour dressing mixture over cucumber.
Czech cucumber salad is a perfect, quick and refreshing side dish for hot summer days. Serve it cold in a small to medium-sized bowl. Add a small spoonful.
If you have leftover cucumber salad, place it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
MY TIP: This salad is perfect for garden parties, summer get-togethers, or family gatherings!
➜ Video recipe
I have recorded a short video so you can see how to make the cucumber salad. Please click on the picture that will take you to my YouTube channel.
If you like the video, don't forget to subscribe to me for more Czech video recipes!
➜ Which Cucumber to Choose
The best cucumbers for this salad are English cucumbers, dark green, with firm skins and no soft spots. In Czech we call this type "hadovka", which could be freely translated as "snake cucumber" because of its long, thin shape.
This is advice my mom gave me: When you buy cucumbers in the store, choose the longer, thinner pieces over the shorter, chubbier ones. Press the ends of the cucumbers; they should be firm enough, not soft.
➜ Useful Tips
- Fresh cucumbers picked from the garden can be grated with the skin on without peeling first.
- The final taste of the dressing is very personal. Some people like it tangy, others milder. Play around with gradually adding vinegar, sugar, and possibly salt to make the salad taste the way you want it!
- A grated cucumber releases a lot of water. For this type of watery dressing, it doesn't matter, so you don't have to sweat the cucumber to get rid of the excess liquid.
More Czech salads:
Czech Cucumber Salad – Okurkový salát
- 1 English cucumber
- 1 and ¾ cups water (420 ml) cold
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ Tablespoon salt
- ¼ cup vinegar 5% acidity, I used apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper ground
- emove the cucumber's outer peels and cut off the ends.
- Roughly shred the cucumber. I used my large-hole hand grater. Another less common option for this salad is to grate thin slices of cucumber.
- Make the watery salad dressing: Combine water, sugar, vinegar, salt, and ground pepper in a mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. Adjust the flavor of the dressing to taste.
- Place grated cucumber in a bowl. Pour dressing mixture over cucumber.
- Makes two portions.
- Serve this Czech cucumber salad cold in a small bowl. Add a small spoon.
- It's an ideal accompaniment to main courses such as Schnitzel, fried cheese or meatloaf.
- Cucumbers fresh from the garden can be grated with the skin on without peeling first.
- The vinegar commonly used in Czech cuisine has a rather pungent aroma. The amount of vinegar depends on its strength - in this recipe I used apple cider vinegar with 5% acidity. The more pungent the vinegar tastes, the less you add to the dressing. It's also a matter of personal taste. Some people prefer a tangier flavor, others a milder one.
- A grated cucumber releases a lot of water. For this type of watery dressing, it doesn't matter, so you don't have to sweat the cucumber to get rid of excess liquid.
DISCLAIMER: Because I come from Central Europe, my recipes are based on metric units such as grams or milliliters. Check out how I convert metric units to the U.S. system:Conversion chart