Marinated Mini-Me Cucumber and Golden Nugget Tomato Salad

Today marks the first day of summer and with it comes long days of sunshine. This refreshing salad is perfect for cooling off on the hot days to come. Pack it up for a picnic or serve it by the pool. These marinated cucumbers and tomatoes make for a wonderful snack or side dish. 

This recipe was inspired by a tomato salad I had at Tsubaki in Los Angeles a few years ago. I remember it to this day as one of my favorite tomato salads. I loved how the umami of the soy play off the sweetness and pop of the tomatoes. It was all brought together with creamy whipped tofu. Their play on a caprese salad. If it ever shows up on the menu again, run don't walk to Echo Park to get this dish. Either way you should go check them out. 

For this dish I know I wanted to utilize the Mini-Me cucumber. Adding the crunchy cucumbers incorporates a nice contrast to the mouth feel of the Golden Nugget tomatoes. They also go very well with the marinade adding a refreshing bite, perfect for a hot summer day.


  • 4 Mini-Me Cucumbers
  • 12 Golden Nugget tomatoes
  • 1 Large Bunch Chives
  • Small Bunch Arugula 
  • ¼ lemon (seeds removed)
  • ¼ cup Ponzu
  • ¼ cup Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Red chili flake
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Toasted Sesame Seeds (plus more for garnish)
  • Salt as needed


  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowls
  • Serving bowl


First, gather your vegetables and wash and dry them well. Set your washed vegetables aside as we will make the marinade next. Grab your mixing bowl and mix your wet ingredients (Ponzu, Sesame Oil, Rice Wine Vinegar, Lemon Juice). Take your whisk and blend your ingredients well, mixing the oil into the vinegar. Next add your dry ingredients and mix. Set this aside and let meld together. 

Now it is time to cut up your veggies. Take your cucumbers and cut off each end. Next cut them in half lengthwise and then in half again lengthwise creating spears. Place the cucumbers on their skin side and slice out the seeds across the length of the spear. Careful not to cut out too much flesh. Cut the de-seeded spears into thirds (approximately 1.5-2-inch pieces) and add them to a bowl. Add two large pinches of salt to your cucumbers and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. This step will pull excess water out of the cucumbers which will prevent your salad from becoming watery. Cut your tomatoes in half and set aside. After 10 minutes, drain your cucumbers and mix in your tomatoes. Add your marinade to the vegetables and mix in a handful of arugula for some extra flavor. Top off with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!