Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad


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Dive into the refreshing world of Japanese cuisine with Sunomono, a delightful cucumber salad that offers a burst of flavors and textures in every bite. This classic Japanese dish is known for its simplicity, yet it packs a punch of umami and tanginess, making it a perfect side dish or appetizer. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to prepare Sunomono with great SEO and detailed instructions.

Sunomono is a traditional Japanese salad that showcases the simplicity and elegance of Japanese cuisine. Its name, “Sunomono,” translates to “vinegared things,” and it’s a testament to the Japanese love for clean, refreshing flavors. This dish has a rich history in Japanese culinary traditions and is a popular side dish or appetizer.

  • Ancient Origins: Sunomono has been part of Japanese cuisine for centuries. It was originally created as a way to preserve seafood and vegetables by pickling them in rice vinegar and mirin.
  • Balanced Flavors: Sunomono embodies the principles of umami and balance in Japanese cuisine. It typically features a delicate balance of sweet, sour, and savory flavors.
  • Versatility: While the classic Sunomono includes cucumbers, it can feature a variety of ingredients such as seaweed, octopus, shrimp, or other seafood. This versatility has allowed it to evolve over time and adapt to different tastes and ingredients.

Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Sunomono, often referred to as "vinegared cucumbers," is a traditional Japanese salad that showcases the harmony of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors. The crisp cucumber slices are bathed in a delicate yet flavorful dressing, creating a dish that is both visually appealing and palate-refreshing. It's the ideal accompaniment to sushi, sashimi, or any Japanese-inspired meal.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 15 mins Rest Time 15 hrs Total Time 15 hrs 15 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 44.53 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Begin by washing and peeling the cucumbers (optional) to create a striped pattern. Slice the cucumbers thinly using a knife or a mandoline slicer.

  2. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl, sprinkle them with salt, and gently toss to evenly distribute the salt. Allow the cucumbers to sit for about 10-15 minutes; this will help draw out excess moisture.

  3. While the cucumbers are resting, prepare the dressing by combining rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil (if using) in a separate bowl. Whisk the ingredients until the sugar dissolves completely.

  4. After the resting period, use a strainer to drain the excess liquid from the cucumbers. You can gently squeeze them to remove additional moisture.

  5. Transfer the cucumbers to a clean bowl and pour the prepared dressing over them. Toss the cucumbers in the dressing to ensure they are well coated.

  6. Allow the Sunomono to rest in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes. During this time, the cucumbers will absorb the flavors of the dressing.

  7. Before serving, garnish the Sunomono with sesame seeds and thinly sliced lemon or lime (if desired).

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 44.53kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0.15g1%
Saturated Fat 0.05g1%
Sodium 621.1mg26%
Potassium 197.16mg6%
Total Carbohydrate 11.11g4%
Dietary Fiber 0.67g3%
Sugars 8.47g
Protein 0.93g2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Add thinly sliced red onion or seaweed (wakame) for extra flavor and texture.
  • Adjust the sweetness and acidity of the dressing by altering the sugar and vinegar ratios to suit your taste.
  • Customize the salad with other vegetables like radishes, carrots, or bell peppers.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Sunomono is a perfect accompaniment to sushi, sashimi, or any Japanese meal.
  • Serve it as a light and refreshing appetizer before the main course.
Allergen Information:

Sunomono is generally allergen-friendly but may contain seafood or shellfish, depending on the recipe. Here's what to consider:

  • Seafood Allergies: If you have seafood allergies, make sure to choose a variation of Sunomono that does not contain seafood. There are many vegetarian versions available that rely on vegetables, seaweed, or tofu instead.
Wine or Drink Pairing:

Pairing a beverage with Sunomono can enhance your dining experience:

  • Green Tea: A cup of traditional Japanese green tea complements the clean and refreshing flavors of Sunomono. It's a classic and harmonious choice.

  • Sake: For those who enjoy alcoholic beverages, a cold and crisp sake or a light Japanese beer can be a delightful pairing, especially when enjoying Sunomono as an appetizer.

Storage and Leftovers:

Here's how to store and enjoy leftovers of Sunomono:

  • Refrigeration: If you have leftover Sunomono, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Sunomono is best when fresh, so try to consume it within 1-2 days to enjoy its crisp texture.

  • Flavor Enhancement: The flavors of Sunomono often intensify as it sits in the fridge. The vinegar marinade continues to infuse the ingredients, enhancing the taste over time.

Keywords: Sunomono recipe, Japanese cucumber salad, Vinegared cucumber salad, Japanese side dish.

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