A family-friendly, light and flavorful salad with thinly sliced cucumbers marinated in a simple dressing of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Serve as a side-dish or even as a lunchbox snack.Jump to Recipe
Many cultures have their own version of a cucumber salad. One of our favorites is a Japanese cucumber salad that you find at sushi restaurants called Sunomono. This word basically means “pickled dish” in Japanese, so vinegar is a key ingredient.
Japanese Cucumber Salad with Octopus
Several years ago, my youngest daughter ordered Tako Sunomono. When it showed up, I realized that “tako” meant octopus. My initial reaction was to quickly remove the “tako,” so she would eat the salad. Before my chopsticks could swoop in and get rid of the offending item, she stuffed a piece of octopus in her mouth and proceeded to eat the entire salad. She clearly didn’t have the same preconceived notions about eating octopus that I had…and fortunately I kept those to myself. I still think that octopus (not to be confused with fried calamari which is totally delicious) tastes like a rubber band. She still orders Tako Sunomono every time we visit a Japanese restaurant.
Now, we frequently make this Japanese cucumber salad at home. Sometimes I serve it along with a meal, but often I make it as an easy snack for the kids. Sliced vegetables can get boring and this is an easy way to mix it up. The girls have requested this in their school lunch, since Japanese cucumber salad stays fresh, while other sliced veggies and salads can become droopy after a short time outside of the refrigerator.
Use a box grater to thinly slice cucumbers
To make this Japanese cucumber salad, thinly slice cucumbers (preferably the Japanese or Persian kind). You can even leave the skin on! We have a box grater with a slicer on the side and found this to be a fast and easy way to get the cucumber sliced very thin.
Only 3 ingredients for Japanese cucumber salad dressing
Sprinkle the sliced cucumbers with salt and let them sit for 5 minutes. There are only 3 ingredients necessary for the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (or 2 teaspoons of agave)
Gently squeeze out and drain any water from the cucumbers and combine together with the dressing. You can keep this salad in your refrigerator for up to three days but after that, the cucumbers will start to get too soggy.
Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunimono)
A family-friendly Japanese cucumber salad marinated in a dressing of soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar or agave. Serve as a side-dish or as a healthy lunchbox snack.
- 3 Japanese or Persian cucumbers
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons agave or 1 tablespoon of white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon Sesame seeds
Slice cucumbers as thin as you can. A box grater with a slicer on the side works perfectly.
Sprinkle salt over the sliced cucumbers and let sit for 5 minutes. Squeeze water out from cucumbers.
In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, agave, and soy sauce together.
Combine dressing with sliced cucumbers and mix well. Sprinkle with sesame seeds