Hungarian Cucumber Salad

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

After last week’s schnitzel fest I got several requests for the cucumber salad that I served with the dish. It’s one of those recipes I’ve been making since I was old enough to hold a knife, but this weekend I finally took the time to measure out the exact proportions. And thus, ode to my Hungarian heritage week continues.

Cucumber salad is perfect to serve alongside traditional schnitzel, but it’s also just a great side to any sort of heartier chicken or pork dish. You can jazz it up using different flavor profiles and seasonal veggies (one of my favorite Asian-inspired recipes is for Cucumber and Sesame Salad).

And despite the 18 inches of snow New York City got (in a single day) last week, I’m still keeping my hopes up that spring weather is just weeks away. So what better way to ease into bikini-shape than with a guilt-free, refreshing side dish. It’s just what the dietitian ordered … alongside a plate of pan-fried Wienerschnitzel and a cold Heineken.

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10 min


2 large cucumbers
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1½ cups white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Sour cream, for garnish
Hungarian paprika, for garnish


Begin by slicing the cucumbers on a mandoline set to 1/8" thickness. Note: While a mandoline is best for ensuring paper thin slices, you can also just use a knife while making sure to slice the cucumber as thin as possible.

Add the cucumbers to a large bowl, then add the minced shallots, chopped fresh dill, white vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Stir to combine ingredients then cover the bowl and refrigerate it, stirring occasionally, for at least one hour prior to serving. Note: You can prepare the salad up to 24 hours in advance.

When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer the salad into serving dishes. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a dash of Hungarian paprika.


8 Responses to “Hungarian Cucumber Salad”

  1. #
    Lisa Martin — January 29, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Kelly, thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. My grandmother used to make it and no one had gotten the recipe before she passed. It will bring back so many wonderful memories!

  2. #
    Patricia Ann — February 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I am eating this as I type and I have found a new love with cucumber. Thank you for this recipe! :)

  3. #
    Marta Kusztor — July 5, 2012 at 9:19 am

    dear, the garlic left out from the recepie!!!! without garlic it is not a hungarian cucumber salad :(

  4. #
    Susan — June 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I am so happy to find this recipe! I, too, have Hungarian heritage (my father was born there), and my grandmother made a salad like this. This is the first time I’ve seen an actual recipe for it. Thank you for the post.

  5. #
    Mary Luyber-Glick — August 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    We use garlic (crush a small piece so as not to overwhelm the salad) and we salt the cucumbers, let them stand for about an hour and then squeeze them. Place the squeezed, drained cucumbers in a bowl and add the vinegar-sugar dressing with paprika and the dill. You can mix the sour cream into the salad or not. My grandparents (both pairs) emigrated from Austro-Hungary prior to WW One, so this recipe is from way back before the Nazis and Communists. Nice to see someone celebrate their Hungarian heritage. We recently went to Hungary and visited our family towns. We also traveled by car all over the place. I made it a quest for cucumber salad and found the one most like this in Gyor. The Hungarian name for cucumber salad is ubora salata. Best regards, Mary


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