Before I talk about today’s post, for those of you on the east coast of the US, I hope the storm isn’t impacting your life too much and please stay safe.
I also want to say Congratulations to San Francisco Giants, World Series Champions!! Whoo hoo! They had an amazing playoff run coming back from the brink of being eliminated twice and sweeping the Detroit Tigers to win it all.
Now on to today’s recipe, Japanese Cucumber Salad. As you might know, the typical Japanese meal consists of one main dish of meat or seafood with rice and miso soup, complemented with several side dishes. This easy salad is one of the side dishes that I prepare often.
In Japan, this type of side dish/salad is called Sunomono (酢の物), literal translation “vinegar food”. The most typical sunomono includes thinly sliced cucumber and wakame seaweed dressed in rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. The crunch of a crisp cucumber matches really well with the soft wakame seaweed in a delicious tangy vinegar dressing.
For today’s recipe, I added crab sticks to add red color but it’s completely optional and you can enjoy it as a vegetarian dish without the crab sticks. The Japanese believe vinegar is an important part of our diet due to its many benefits such as controlling blood sugar level. You can find out more information on Vinegar here. Growing up my mom made sure we have different kinds of side dishes include sunomono during meal time.
Have a wonderful week everyone!
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- 2 Japanese cucumbers (2/3 English cucumber)
- Sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. wakame
- 4 crab sticks (kanikama) (optional)
- Roasted white sesame seeds (optional)
- If you are using Japanese cucumber, this step called “Itazuri” is necessary. Wash the cucumber and sprinkle salt. With both hands, rub the cucumber against the cutting board. It removes the pointy bumps on the cucumber and it helps absorb the dressing.
- Alternately peel a ½-inch-side strip lengthwise, leaving a strip of the skin intact. With this method, the cucumber slices have some decorative dark green accents and a little bit of extra crunchiness. Cut the cucumbers into thinly slices, about ⅛-inch thickness (or even thinner).
- Sprinkle salt and rub the cucumber each other gently with hands. After cucumber is wilted (about 5 minutes), wash the cucumber under cold water. Squeeze the cucumber to get rid of water.
- Put dried wakame in a small bowl and soak in water. After 10 minutes, squeeze dry to get rid of water.
- Cut the crab sticks in half.
- In a small saucepan, combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Heat until sugar is all dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cucumber, wakame, and crab sticks. Pour the dressing over and mix together. Sprinkle sesame seeds and enjoy at room temperature or chilled.