Feb 24

Calling all cukes! Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)

in Bento, Fruits & Vegetables, Fuji Favorites, Japanese, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type, Salads

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.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

gleek February 25, 2008 at 9:32 am

mmmm, i love japanese cukes!! a little sesame oil would be great in there too.


Polly February 26, 2008 at 4:11 am

Funny the don’t look like chocolate.


Jean February 26, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Looks yummy! I may have to try that.


Kamaka January 24, 2010 at 12:01 am

awesome recipe! I usually have tsukemono, sunomono and even kimchi. Just got ot have the vegetable side dishes, right?! Yes Jean, you got to try it! You’ll love it.


Kamaka January 24, 2010 at 12:06 am

Oh by the way Mama, I am looking suggestion for a light Japanese Dessert recipe to “wow the pants off of The Coffee Shop Girls”. Not literally, mind you. One of the girls is Japanese but she doesn’t like Mochi, so that’s out. I made manju for then before and they loved it. Any suggestions?


Tina March 22, 2012 at 12:24 am

I love tsunomono! (I always thought it was spelled with a t, but hey, potato potahto!) I add a 1/4 tsp of ginger to my rice vinegar mix and some super thin slices of carrots as well. YUMM!


Fuji Mama March 25, 2012 at 10:15 am

@Tina — It’s sunomono, because “su” means vinegar in Japanese! Sunomono is actually more of a generic term for a variety of Japanese dishes dressed with a vinegar marinade/dressing. Definitely a big yum for the addition of ginger and carrots! That’s one thing I love about this salad—it’s endlessly customizable!


Matt May 7, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Try adding some dashi, you’ll want to drink the liquid after you eat.


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