Calling all cukes! Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)
If you give me a choice between your regular garden variety cucumber and a Japanese cucumber
, I will choose the Japanese cucumber every time, hands down.
I love cucumbers, but for me, the Japanese cucumber is the empress of them all. It does not need to be peeled or seeded and the flavor is mild and sweet.
Because of this, they make great snacks (even Squirrel loves them), and can easily be added to many dishes.
You commonly find them in different types of sushi rolls, whether it be a kappamaki
(a roll with just cucumber in it), or a roll with cucumber as one of its many ingredients. One of my favorite ways to eat a Japanese cucumber is asazuke kiuri, a lightly pickled cucumber that you can often find at festivals
to buy and eat on a stick. Another delicious way to eat the Japanese cucumber is in Sunomono, a Japanese cucumber salad.
Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)
2 to 3 Japanese cucumbers (you could use 1 large English cucumber as a substitute)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 drop soy sauce
Peel and slice cucumbers into very thin slices. Sprinkle sliced cucumber slices with salt and let stand a few minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in a bowl and mix well. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber slices and mix well. Set aside for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve in individual dishes. I sometimes like to add daikon radish (peel and slice it into thin slices) or wakame (a delicious nutrient rich type of edible kelp). You can also add shrimp or crab meat if you want to add some protein.
* This also makes a great healthy addition to a bento.