Japan, Popular Posts

Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomono)

June 28, 2016

Japanese Cucumber Salad or Sunomono Salad is a crunchy, sweet, and tangy Asian salad requiring only a few simple ingredients. It is great as an appetizer or a side dish!

This Japanese Cucumber Salad, called Sunomono, is sweet and tangy. It is really quick to make and is perfect as an appetizer or a side dish!

This time I want to share a very simple, but a very tasty salad with you. I am not even sure if it’s a salad or a side dish, or an appetizer. What I am sure about is that it’s insanely delicious! I am talking about a classic Japanese Cucumber Salad, also known as Sunomono. Actually, Sunomono just means “vinegared things” in Japanese, so any other fresh vegetables can be used. However, the cucumber version is undoubtedly the most popular one.

This Japanese Cucumber Salad, called Sunomono, is sweet and tangy. It is really quick to make and is perfect as an appetizer or a side dish!

Basically, it’s a thinly sliced cucumber marinated in a dressing made of rice vinegar, soy sauce, salt, sugar and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It’s also important to squeeze all the water from cucumbers before mixing them with the dressing! I made the traditional and simple version, but you can also add some seaweed (if you like it) or some seafood, such as shrimp, crab, or else. Sunomono is usually made with Japanese cucumbers (Persian cucumbers are also considered a great choice), but I wasn’t able to find any of these, so I used a good old English cucumber and the result was outstanding too.

This salad is usually served before the main meal in Japan. It is perfect for increasing your appetite. If you have ever been in Japanese restaurants you should have seen it on the menu. However, I also enjoy it as a side dish with sushi, Japanese cabbage pancakes or any other, even not Japanese, dish!

This Japanese Cucumber Salad, called Sunomono, is sweet and tangy. It is really quick to make and is perfect as an appetizer or a side dish!

I love everything about this Japanese Cucumber Salad. It is refreshing, light, and sweet & tangy at the same time! The vinegar dressing does the job. Oh and don’t forget the pleasant crunchiness of the cucumbers. Also, it requires almost no time to make. You can throw it together in under 5 minutes! This Japanese Cucumber Salad, called Sunomono, is sweet and tangy. It is really quick to make and is perfect as an appetizer or a side dish!

5 from 12 votes
This Japanese Cucumber Salad, called Sunomono, is sweet and tangy. It is really quick to make and is perfect as an appetizer or a side dish!
Japanese Cucumber Salad Recipe (Sunomono)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

This beautiful cucumber salad coming from Japan is sweet, tangy, and crunchy. Can be served as an appetizer or a side dish!

Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 2 people
Calories Per Serving: 48 kcal
Author: CookingTheGlobe
  • 1 large English cucumber or 2 Japanese cucumbers
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar , or more
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  1. Thinly slice the cucumber. You can do it either by hand or using a food processor. Rub the slices with salt and drain for 5 minutes in a colander. Rinse under cold running water and squeeze them tightly to remove water. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the dressing to the cucumber slices, sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix well. Enjoy!


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  • Reply Holly June 29, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    This salad looks so delicious! I love how simple it is. The perfect summer side dish!

    • Reply Igor July 1, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Sometimes simple things are the best. Thanks for the comment, Holly! 🙂

  • Reply Brian Jones July 1, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Gotta try this, it is very similar in many ways to a classic Hungarian uborkasaláta (or Cucumber Salad) and something I love very much!

    • Reply Igor July 1, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Brian, I have never heard about Uborkasaláta. Going to google it!

  • Reply Daniela Apostol July 1, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Who said you can’t get big flavours from simple ingredients? This salad is perfect, refreshing, with a lovely crunch and that unique Asian kick. I would gladly have it on its own, although l think it goes really well with meat as well. Lovely!

    • Reply Igor July 1, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Thank you so much for the comment, Daniela! It is really awesome 🙂

  • Reply Camilla @FabFood4All July 1, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Lovely cucumber dish which reminds me of something my mum used to make but without the soy sauce:-)

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Camilla, try this version with the soy sauce and you will fall in love!

  • Reply Azlin Bloor July 1, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I adore this salad Igor, in the summer especially and it makes a quick lesson in my Japanese classes! I love your recipe and presentation!

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:18 am

      Thank you for the kind words, Azlin!

  • Reply Sarah July 1, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Oh yum! I’ve heard of something like this before but have never tried it. I think the tangy sauces and cool cucumber would go together so well, I’ll have to try it out 🙂

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:18 am

      Sarah, they really go well together! You have to try it 🙂

  • Reply Katie Crenshaw July 1, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I love this at the restaurants! So glad you shared the recipe so I can make it at home! Great tip about squeezing out the liquid from the cucumbers. I would totally forget to do that and wonder why my dish was watery. I will be making this soon!

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Katie, I learned this trick about squeezing the water from the cucumbers not so long time ago by myself. Since then I am using it all the time 🙂

  • Reply Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels July 2, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    This looks lovely. A perfect side dish to oriental dishes and others such as simply grilled chicken or fish. Delightful.

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:22 am

      Yes, Georgina, it’s one of my favorite side dishes now to anything! 🙂

  • Reply Claudia | Gourmet Project July 5, 2016 at 7:17 am

    this salad wll be the leading star of my next meat free monday. pinning!

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:21 am

      So glad you liked it, Claudia! 🙂

  • Reply Razena | Tantalisemytastebuds.com July 5, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I love using a pickled cucumber salad as a side dish with green bean stew or even fish cakes. I will give your recipe a go soon 🙂

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

      Razena, this salad surely is a perfect side dish!

  • Reply Laura | Wandercooks July 5, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Yum, we ate this all the time in Japan! I love the crunchy texture of the cucumbers and the gorgeous flavours of the dressing (and anything with sesame seeds automatically has my vote haha). Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Igor July 12, 2016 at 8:11 am

      Thanks for the comment, Laura! It’s amazing how such a simple salad can be so good 🙂

  • Reply ELi May 18, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    This looks like exactly what I need for tonight, thank you.

    • Reply Igor May 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      You are welcome, Eli!

  • Reply Lorry May 18, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is a wonderful dish! This recipe popped up in my Pinterest feed this morning. My husband literally just gave me a mandoline two days ago, and it made prepping the cucumbers so fast and easy — so I was especially excited to try this. So light and refreshing. Thank you for this, Igor!

    • Reply Igor June 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

      You are welcome, Lorry. I am glad you enjoyed this salad!

  • Reply Katherine L Benson August 5, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I served this with a teriyaki flank steak, stir fry sugar snap peas and sticky white rice….perfect!
    Thank you for sharing the recipe!

    • Reply Igor August 6, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Sounds like a perfect dinner!

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