Sunomono (Cucumber Salad) 酢の物

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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
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. dried ready-to-use wakame (seaweed)
  • ½ English cucumber (or 1 Japanese cucumber)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. julienned ginger (optional)
Dressing
Instructions
  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.
Notes
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

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  1. 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!

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  2. 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?

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    • 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.

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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. :)

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  5. 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~

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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!

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  8. 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

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  9. 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 :)

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  10. 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

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  11. 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!

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  12. 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!

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  13. 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!

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  14. 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!

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  15. 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…

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  16. 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

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  17. 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!

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  18. 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 :)

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  19. 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.

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  20. 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

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  21. 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.

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  22. 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!

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  23. 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. 😉

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    • 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! :-)

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  24. 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!

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  25. 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!

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  26. 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!

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  27. 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:)

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  28. 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. 😉

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  29. Liz

    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.

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