Easy Japanese Recipes

Sunomono (Cucumber Salad) 酢の物

Sunomono (Cucumber Salad) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Sunomono (or Cucumber Salad) is simple and very easy to prepare in a short time yet this is one of the most popular appetizers you often see at dinner tables in Japan.

Sunomono is a vinegar based dish usually made with cucumbers.  “Su” means vinegar in Japanese and we have a large variety of appetizers using vinegar and cucumber, such as Tako Su (Octopus Salad) I shared before.  These light refreshing vinegar salads are a great start to any meal and the sourness from the vinegar helps open your appetite.

Sunomono (Cucumber Salad) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Sunomono (Cucumber Salad)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • 1 Tbsp. dried ready-to-use wakame (seaweed)
  • ½ English cucumber (or 1 Japanese cucumber)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. julienned ginger (optional)
  1. Soak wakame in water for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Drain well and transfer to a bowl.
  2. Peel and slice the cucumber into very thin slices.
  3. Sprinkle the cucumber slices with salt and massage them. Let stand for a few minutes and squeeze out excess water from cucumber. Transfer to the bowl from Step 1.
  4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Set aside to cool.
  5. Before serving, pour the dressing over cucumber slices and wakame and mix well together. Serve in individual dishes and garnish with ginger on top.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


Editor’s Note: Photos updated in November 2013

Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Appetizers, Healthy Recipes, Quick & Easy, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Leave a Comment

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  • chinmayie @ love food eat February 23, 2012, 12:22 am

    Enjoy your time with your son Nami! Emails and blog can wait ;)
    Salad looks great!

  • Medeja February 23, 2012, 1:30 am

    I like the bowls the sunomono is in :)

  • Family Meals and Cooking Tips February 23, 2012, 1:47 am

    Ohhh… this salad/appetizer sure looks fun Nami. I would love to recreate this. I just need to figure out where to purchase dashi stock. Have fun bonding with your son ;)

  • Sissi February 23, 2012, 2:02 am

    Nami, you have been reading my mind! I have seen this recipe somewhere and have been meaning to make it for such a long time! You know I love cucumber and every new cucumber dish makes me happy! I will make it very soon (I constantly have cucumbers in the fridge). Have fun with your son!

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover February 23, 2012, 2:33 am

    I know i can eat few small bowls of this, sound really appetizing!

  • Debs @ The Spanish Wok February 23, 2012, 2:35 am

    Nami, family comes before the blog, your blogging friends understand and nothing can be more urgent than your family and private life! But we appreciate all you do on the blog to give us such delicious recipes.

    This one is right up my street, am I right in assuming you are using nori sheets though?

    • Nami February 23, 2012, 8:01 am

      Hi Debs! There are many kinds of seaweeds, and these are not nori sheets, that are used for sushi. You might have seen wakame in miso soup, salad, and other dishes.

  • Belinda @zomppa February 23, 2012, 3:29 am

    What a fun special time together!! Enjoy it (and the snow!) Great simple dish!

  • Tes February 23, 2012, 3:47 am

    What a refreshing recipe! I like this kind of snack, it’s so fresh and healthy :)

  • Mai February 23, 2012, 3:59 am

    I love seaweed and cucumber so this recipe is soo ME! This looks absolutely refreshing. Seriously Nami, I’m going to make this for sure. You’re amazing as alway! Have a great weekend.

  • Ramona February 23, 2012, 4:11 am

    Hi Nami! Lovely light and flavorful cucumber dish. I so agree with you that sometimes it’s just easier spending time with one child at a time. I spend most of my days with my daughter since she’s only in preschool 3 days a week and my son is in school all day. It is nice to do things with just my son on weekends so he gets some quality time too. Yes, dealing with both of them together is very hard to do anything. Summertime when they are both home from school it is difficult for me to run to the stores and grocery shop because I spend half my time making sure they are near me and not touching anything. :)

  • Liz February 23, 2012, 4:13 am

    I am SO behind on my comments…so I can’t imagine keeping up with a blog and having young children!!! Enjoy the one on one time with your son…such a precious commodity. I’d love this dish…so light and flavorful! I had to google wakame at a restaurant on Saturday…so when I saw it in your title, I was pleased to have it in my culinary lingo :) Enjoy your week, my friend~

  • kat February 23, 2012, 5:16 am

    glad you are enjoying some one on one time with your son!

  • Tobias @ T and Tea Cake February 23, 2012, 5:53 am

    Watch out that your little daughter is not getting jealous of the time you get to spend only with you son! ;)

    Your salad really sounds delicious and refreshing!


  • Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb February 23, 2012, 6:26 am

    I think so I saw some seaweeds in the shop that day (yay!) so I might be able to reconstruct your sunomono. interessting that u cook the dressing first. we r in salad mood so your recipe is coming handy. thanks for sharing Nami! :D

  • Jeannie February 23, 2012, 6:29 am

    That looks very appetising! I love seaweed salads and this version of yours sounds delicious!

  • Nancy/SpicieFoodie February 23, 2012, 6:45 am

    Oh I just love making this. Many times I just make it as a snack instead of an accompaniment to dinner. I love it that much :)

  • Ann@Anncoo Journal February 23, 2012, 6:49 am

    I’d made this before with extra grated carrots. Also love to chill them before serve.

  • Maureen February 23, 2012, 7:21 am

    When your babies are grown, you’ll be so glad you took those special moments with the children. I promise you, when they’re 25 you’ll wonder where the years flew to.

    Just when I think I’ve mastered the pronunciation of a recipe, I need to learn a new word. :) This dish looks beautiful.

  • A_Boleyn February 23, 2012, 7:35 am

    Sounds like the week with your son was a treat for you. I’m sure the salad was very tasty.

  • PolaM February 23, 2012, 7:39 am

    Looks delicious! I love cucumber pickles and this seems like a great way of getting them!

  • Cassie February 23, 2012, 7:52 am

    This sounds so refreshing and light. I love the brightness and the flavors!

  • daphne February 23, 2012, 7:56 am

    awww..how sweet to have those moments with your little ones!

    I love light refreshing salads and this must be one of them. It’s so hot in Perth so I know I can make a batch of this and enjoy this in the heat!

  • Eri February 23, 2012, 8:18 am

    Refreshing indeed and so easy! Hugs Nami!

  • Kath (My Funny Little Life) February 23, 2012, 9:39 am

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! You know I love the octopus salad. This one looks delicious, too! :)

  • Asmita February 23, 2012, 10:30 am

    This looks so simple and yet so tasty. Very refreshing!!!

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet February 23, 2012, 11:42 am

    Ohhh does that mean you are going skiing with your son? :) I just got back from Taipei today ~ been eating way too much again ~ So thanks for sharing this recipe! Really need easy and healthy recipes hehe just hope i can find Wakame in HK or Melbourne hehe

  • Cucina49 February 23, 2012, 1:36 pm

    I’m not familiar with this dish, but what a great cucumber salad. Enjoy the time with your son!

  • Mr. Three-Cookies February 23, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I haven’t tried this yet, or maybe I did without realising. I must be living in a cave:)
    Enjoy your time with your kids

  • Biana - Meal Planning Tips February 23, 2012, 2:59 pm

    Nami, I like cucumber salads, and this looks like a delicious and simple cucumber dish to make.

  • Christy February 23, 2012, 3:28 pm

    Oooh, I love reading your blog which educates me on all the Japanese food and their actual names!:) I love this Sunomono and always looked forward to it being the appetizer whenever I go for Japanese food!!;)
    Enjoy your time with your son, it’s priceless :)

  • tigerfish February 23, 2012, 3:38 pm

    I would like some of these to go with some warm congee! Is it weird to have them this way?

    Enjoy time with your kids.

  • Happy When Not Hungry February 23, 2012, 4:03 pm

    Wow this looks beautiful and so fresh and delicious!

  • Fern @ To Food with Love February 23, 2012, 4:24 pm

    I’ve never come across this dish before, but I can imagine how tasty it must be as an appetizer. Look forward to trying it soon!
    I’m “relieved” to hear that your kids are also little monsters at the supermarket…Haha….When I go shopping with my kids, they will take the mini trolleys and race up and down the aisles with them….very noisy too! And there I am, this mad woman trying to catch up with them (going in different directions too!). And they will start taking things from the shelves to fill their trolleys (which I then have to put back one by one). I think one day, the store manager will probably ban me from going there ever again! :p

  • Hyosun Ro February 23, 2012, 5:09 pm

    Hi Nami – I actually make sunomono sometimes. So I will try your recipe next time. Koreans have a similar dish, called miyeok muchim, which is made with a little different seasoning. Your photos are beautiful again!

  • Marina@cowboycountryvegetarian February 23, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Lovely post and a great recipe!

  • Sandra February 23, 2012, 5:33 pm

    I’ve heard that seaweed has some great health benefits. I’m going to have to try this. Enjoy your fun time!

  • Mel February 23, 2012, 6:52 pm

    Loves this, very appetizing!

  • Sandra's Easy Cooking February 23, 2012, 8:16 pm

    Very light, pretty, delicious looking..I love this recipe! Dressing sound so good! I would totally try this just for lunch! Nicely done!!!

  • Alyssa February 23, 2012, 8:17 pm

    Great appetizer. It seems simple but perfect way to start a meal. Have fun with your son this week!

  • Yi @ Yi Resevation February 23, 2012, 9:14 pm

    I love sunomono dishes that are served before the entries at Japanese restaurants. Your cucumber and wakame appetizers looks a lot nicer than the ones I have in the restaurants. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Lillian February 23, 2012, 10:18 pm

    I love these little, cold side dishes at Japanese and Korean restaurants – it’s my favorite part! =) Hope you’re doing well, Nami – enjoy the precious time w/ your son!

  • Pure Complex February 24, 2012, 12:15 am

    I love cucumbers, so based on that alone, I think I would definitely give this dish a try. I really need to go shopping and get me some cucumbers now lol

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 24, 2012, 12:41 am

    I love Japanese pickles-they’re so colourful and packed full of flavour. And we were only eating these a couple of weeks ago and I said to my husband “I’d love to know how to make these!” WE must be psychically joined Nami!

  • mycookinghut February 24, 2012, 5:11 am

    I love pickles and I will give this simple and delicious pickles a go!

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 24, 2012, 7:29 am

    What a delicious and simple looking dish, Nami! This would be a wonderful side dish or snack. Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend.

  • Luciana February 24, 2012, 7:47 am

    I love Sunomono!
    Happy to know about those special moments with your son! Have a great weekend!

  • Sarah @ Homestyle Cooking Around The World February 24, 2012, 11:47 am

    This is so pretty. I love cucumber in just about any manner- although have not eaten much seaweed. I keep meaning to buy some and try it since it is so healthy! Love the pictures, also. Have a great weekend with your family!

  • Katherine Martinelli February 24, 2012, 1:01 pm

    So fun that your son has off this week! Of course that means more work for you ;-) This looks wonderful – simple and delicious.

  • Roxana Greengirl {A little bit of everything} February 24, 2012, 1:30 pm

    Hi Nami,
    we just finished a playdate and I was talking about you with Tabitha, the other mom. She’s Korean and she’s in love with Japanese cuisine.
    From one recipe to another we ended up talking about sea-weed and I told her I don’t think I had never tasted it and she promised to cook something next time we get together at her house :) Can’t wait!

  • Reem | Simply Reem February 24, 2012, 2:33 pm

    ENJOY !!!
    I know how hard it can get sometime with two kids who are close in age, Enjoy ur time with Enzo… Everything else can wait.
    What a delicious and simple recipe Nami, I love how you make dishes which are so simple but have such delicious flavors…

  • Caroline February 24, 2012, 2:44 pm

    That’s so nice you get some one-on-one time with your son, Nami. I’m sure you’re having such a blast. Even better when you cook up masterpieces such as this! Looks fabulous. x

  • Valerie Brunmeier February 24, 2012, 5:22 pm

    It’s ski week here for us too Nami. We aren’t exactly having ski weather though are we? It’s 82 degrees here today and I’m sure it’s very nice in SF. I can tell by the dressing ingredients that this cucumber/seaweed dish would be totally addictive. It looks so refreshing and delicious!

  • Charles February 24, 2012, 7:18 pm

    Ah, what a coincidence indeed, given my post about vinegar the other day! :) I love vinegar-based salads – they serve them a lot in Japanese restaurants in France as a “starter” befpre sushi. Usually consisting of shredded cabbage… I’m not sure if they’re at all traditional, but they’re darn nice!

    It goes really well with cucumber, so I can imagine the lovely refreshing, crunchiness of this salad! Thanks for sharing Nami :)

  • Vijitha February 24, 2012, 9:23 pm

    Know what! I have always been curious to taste seaweed but didn’t get a chance to do so till date. Your recipes sounds so simple and quick to fix and I thing its healthy too. They say sea weed is rich in iron right? Hope you guys are enjoying the short winter break.

  • Farwin @ Loveandotherspices February 25, 2012, 3:21 am

    Enjoy your time with kids.They sound just like mine.Really hard to go anywhere with them.Glad I discovered your site,I wanted to know more other than my soba noodles.

  • Claudia February 25, 2012, 3:16 pm

    I love variations of cucumber salads so will be doing this. It’s just fresh and simple – just what I love. Enjoy the days with your son. They are precious!e

  • Yue February 25, 2012, 4:54 pm

    Another great dish, I love this appertizer and recipe marked :)

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com February 25, 2012, 5:15 pm

    Enjoying time with the family is a priority. Blog hopping and emails can wait :)

    BTW, I want to dive into that bowl of fresh salad!!

  • A Little Yumminess February 25, 2012, 5:46 pm

    having the kids around definitely keeps us busy. simple and good. just learnt how to make Indian pickles…will have to try these!

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. February 25, 2012, 6:15 pm

    Glad to hear you were able to spend some quality mom and son time this week! This dish looks really yummy! A great new way to enjoy cucumbers!

  • Raymund February 25, 2012, 11:52 pm

    The mrs would love this, salad with vinegar always brighten up our dishes. This is a keeper!

  • Hotly Spiced February 26, 2012, 2:24 am

    A ‘ski week’??? That is a new one for me. We certainly don’t have those here in Sydney. Another great fresh, tasty, delicious and good for you recipe. Thanks Nami. xx

  • Jenny February 26, 2012, 3:22 am

    I love the look of this. I adore anything pickled, and I love its simplicity. mmm, and seaweed.
    It is treasured time with just one child. As my children grew up, they each got a couple of holidays with just one parent – special times.

  • easyfoodsmith February 26, 2012, 8:55 am

    Loved this simple and delicious post. Have a wonderful time with your son :)

  • Norma Chang February 26, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Glad to know you have some one on one time with your son, they grow up so fast, enjoy the together time.
    Salad looks delicious and healthy.

  • rebecca February 26, 2012, 1:23 pm

    lovely have fun with your son

  • Kankana February 26, 2012, 1:43 pm

    Your kids are adorable Nami and I am sure even when they become lil monster they are still the cutest one in the lot :)
    This is such a nice and simple recipe and so refreshing!

  • Sylvia@Peaches and Donuts February 26, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Another appetizer that I enjoy! Have a great time with your son!

  • Carolyn Jung February 26, 2012, 2:25 pm

    What a cherished week for you to enjoy with your son. Plus, I bet you he will remember those shopping trips for years to come. It’s amazing how the little moments in life come to mean so much as we get older. ;)

  • Swee San @ TheSweetSpot February 26, 2012, 9:22 pm

    this looks like the pickled cucumber as korean banchan.. Just wondering if I can use something else instead of dashi stock?

    • Nami February 28, 2012, 12:53 am

      You can omit dashi stock, but that helps to dilute strong vinegar taste. You can use water instead, but please don’t use any other stock rather than dashi stock. Dashi stock will enhance more Japanese flavor compared to just plain water. Hope this helps! :-)

  • jack February 27, 2012, 1:42 am

    mm i love this sort of stuff, a bowl of plain rice and a few side dishes is all I need to be happy :) Definitely going to note this and the pickled turnip with yuzu for sometime in the future!

  • Jeno @ Week Nite Meals February 27, 2012, 7:46 am

    Oh Nami I bet this is so refreshing! Every summer my Mom fixes pickled cucumber, though growing up I never liked them much. But seeing your posting brought that refreshing taste back in my mouth, I should give this a try soon and compare notes with my Mom!

    Hope you have a great week!

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz February 27, 2012, 9:15 am

    The ginger for me makes the perfect touch in this recipe. And rice vinegar is smoother than plain white vinegar. A lovely appetizer. Have fun with your son!

  • Grubarazzi (@Grubarazzi) February 27, 2012, 12:43 pm

    This is one of my favorite little dishes. I love this recipe!

  • Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) February 27, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Nami, so glad that you were able to enjoy some one-on-one time with your son last week. My younger sister and I are only 15 months apart and I remember appreciating the times I had my mother all to myself.

    So, cucumber salad is one of my favorite Japanese starters but I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t tried to make it at home. I have everything I need in my pantry, too–just have to pick up some cucumber. Will have to try your version. Looks great!

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook February 27, 2012, 3:13 pm

    I really like the Chinese cucumber salads with ginger and garlic, and Polish ones with salt and cream. Now I can add a Japanese version with vinegar – cucumbers are so refreshing!

  • Reese@SeasonwithSpice February 27, 2012, 5:54 pm

    Nami – I love how we not only get to learn making Japanese dishes from you, but also the names and meanings of each unique dish. I think I can start piecing words together and strike a conversation with many of our Japanese neighbors here!:)

    We make cucumber salads all the time here but it’s always being spiced up in different ways:)

  • Lilly February 29, 2012, 1:21 pm

    I hope you had a great time with your kids! I love this easy fast recipe. Those are normally the best.

  • Evelyn February 29, 2012, 1:29 pm

    I’ve never made this cucumber and seaweed salad before. Your recipe will definitely come in handy. Thanks, Nami!

  • Julie at Burnt Carrots February 29, 2012, 7:04 pm

    Enjoy your time with you son!

    I don’t have children but once took my niece (4) and nephew (2) to the grocery store and all three of us nearly melted down! I won’t make that mistake again!

  • Food Jaunts March 2, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Naomi this looks awesome. What other vegetables would be good in this? I love cucumbers but my husband unfortunately doesn’t.

  • Pauline March 6, 2012, 10:00 am

    Wow!! I love these pickles!! At my favorite Japanese restaurant they also add some glass noodles!! I will definitely try this recipe when my cucumbers grow. ;)

  • Magic of Spice March 6, 2012, 10:27 am

    This is delightful Nami! A favorite treat I have enjoyed on many occasions, but have never made at hope…bookmarked :)

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 23, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I love Sunomono – such a light and refreshing starter to open the palate. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Liz March 31, 2012, 11:48 am

    Nami, I’m quite certain you mean untoasted sesame oil, but I just want to make sure that’s the oil to be used here.

  • Susan Wenzel May 7, 2012, 11:32 am

    I am making this for lunch! I had half an English cucumber and thought this would go well with the sunny weather. Thank you!


  • minnie@thelady8home August 23, 2013, 5:44 am

    Refreshing salad!! I love cucumbers. Have a great time with your son :)