Trinidad Cucumber Chow Recipe

Trini cucumber chow is a popular and refreshing afternoon snack.

It is similar to a simple cucumber salad but the garlic and chadon beni combo elevate it to that tasty chow status.

Enjoy it alone or as a simple side with lunch.

Ingredients for cucumber chow

For this recipe, I used:

  • cucumbers: Small Kirby cucumbers are used to make cucumber chow.
  • garlic: This adds a pungent kick to the chow but can be omitted if you’re worried about garlic breath.
  • chadon beni: Called culantro and recao in other parts of the world, chadon beni leaves are a must-have in any chow. They add a strong, herbaceous flavor to this refreshing snack but can be substituted for cilantro if they are hard to find in your area.
  • pepper: Trinis like peppah! Any type of pepper will do from fresh peppers like scotch bonnets, chilis and pimentos to powdered versions like cayenne, paprika and black pepper. Of course, if you don’t like spicy food, you can use very little or omit the pepper altogether.
  • lime juice: Citrus juice adds a wonderful tangy taste that compliments all other flavors from the garlic to the chadon beni and pepper. Lime juice is the most commonly used but you can try lemon juice too.
  • salt: Salt pulls the liquid out of the cucumber (remember osmosis from science class?) and that liquid when mixed with chadon beni, pepper, garlic and lime juice becomes a marinade for the cucumber.

There are no rules when it comes to making chow. So, you can add and subtract whichever ingredients you like from the recipe. You can also add in other fruits and veggies to the chow. Pineapple, mango or tomatoes are common additions.

cucumber chow ingredients

How to make cucumber chow trini style

Prep all ingredients

Cucumber chow is incredibly easy to make.

Step 1: To start, wash, peel and slice the Kirby cucumbers. You can leave some of the peel on if you like, but I prefer to remove it.

Step 2: Peel and finely mince the garlic.

Step 3: Wash and mince the chadon beni leaves too.

Step 4: As for pepper, decide on how spicy you want your chow to be. I prefer less spicy, so I often remove the seeds and pith from the pepper. If you enjoy the burn, the seeds have lots of spicy flavor so leave them in. Or use powdered black pepper, cayenne or even pepper flakes. It’s all up to you.

add ingredients to cucumbers

Mix and marinate

Step 5: With all the prep done, it’s time to mix everything together. Add the salt and squeeze some lime juice in. Give everything a good toss before covering and refrigerating.

Step 6: Leaving the chow in the fridge will allow the flavors to soak into the cucumber and make it much more tasty. Serve cold as an afternoon snack or as a healthy side dish for lunch.

finished cucumber chow

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Trinidad cucumber chow recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Cucumber chow

Trini cucumber chow is a refreshing afternoon snack made with garlic, culantro, pepper, salt and lime juice. All the flavors work so well together to make this a favorite on the island.
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Caribbean
Keyword: cucumber chow
Servings: 4
Calories: 30kcal
Author: Ros Singh


  • 2 cucumbers (sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic clove
  • 1/8 cup chadon beni leaves (chopped)
  • 1 fresh pepper
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Wash, peel and slice cucumbers.
  • Peel and finely chop garlic.
  • Wash and finely chop chadon beni leaves and pepper.
  • Mix all ingredients together.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins.
  • Serve cold.

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