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 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.
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!
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!
Japanese Cucumber Salad Recipe (Sunomono)
- 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
- 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.
- In a small bowl, mix the sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the dressing to the cucumber slices, sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix well. Enjoy!