Refreshing and easy Cucumber Salad with Sesame Soy Vinaigrette (Cucumber Gomazu-ae). Use a spiralizer to slice your cucumber into a cool shape!
As the weather is getting warmer and summer is just around the corner, I love making refreshing salad and side dishes to go with our Japanese meals. Today I’m sharing my Cucumber Salad with Sesame Soy Vinaigrette or Cucumber Gomazu-ae (きゅうりのごま酢和え).
Sesame Soy Vinaigrette (Gomazu-ae)
This sesame soy vinaigrette is called gomazu-ae (胡麻酢和え) in Japanese. Gomazu-ae is made of ground white sesame seeds, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar.
You might be more familiar with Spinach Goma-ae (ほうれん草の胡麻和え) as it’s a better-known dish in the U.S. Compared to Goma-ae, this sesame vinaigrette is more refreshing and I love the addition of nutty aromatic sesame seeds. This cucumber salad is super easy and you can make it in less than 15 minutes.
Use a Spiralizer for Cucumber Salad
You can make Japanese Cucumber Salad by simply slicing cucumbers, but spiralized cucumbers are more fun! They give more dimensions to the salad and I love how it gives textures when you eat.
I received The Inspiralizer from Ali from Inspiralized.com several weeks ago, and I’ve been busy spiralizing vegetables and fruits ever since!! I still enjoy regular noodles and pasta, but zucchini noodles or zoodles are one of the popular ways to make a dish into a “light” meal and I love the concept!
The spiralizer could also make food more fun for the family. My daughter loves apples and lately her new routine after dinner is spiralizing an apple and eat with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Various Japanese Cucumber Salads
If you enjoy Japanese style cucumber salads, I have other recipes you may enjoy!
- Japanese Pickled Cucumbers
- Cucumber and Chicken Marinated in Chicken Oil
- Sunomono (Classic Japanese Cucumber Salads)
- Japanese Cucumber Salad with Crab
- Quick & Easy Japanese Pickled Cucumbers
- Daikon and Cucumber Salad with Shio Koji
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Japanese Cucumber Salad with Sesame Soy Vinaigrette
- 1 Tbsp dried wakame seaweed
- 1 American cucumber (for the best spiralizing result; you can use Japanese or Persian cucumbers if you're not spiralizing)
- ¼ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt) (for sprinkling on cucumber)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Cover and soak 1 Tbsp wakame in water until it softens and hydrates, about 5 minutes.
- Grind 3 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds in pestle and mortar (Japanese style is a wooden pestle and grooved mortar), keeping some seeds unground for some texture.
- Add 2 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, and 3 Tbsp rice vinegar and mix well. Set aside.
- I usually like to make a striped pattern by alternately peeling a ½-inch-wide strip lengthwise, then 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.
- Center align the cucumber on the spiralizer and press firmly to secure both ends (For The Inspiralizer, set to "Blade A" for wide ribbons). If you don’t use a spiralizer, simply slice the cucumber into thin slices.
- Spin the handle clockwise to spiralize. Using a kitchen shears or knife, cut the spiralized cucumber into shorter lengths.
- Sprinkle kosher salt and give some gentle massage. Set aside for a few minutes.
- Squeeze the excess moisture out and place in a bowl. Squeeze wakame and add to the bowl.
- Before serving, Pour the sesame dressing over the cucumber and wakame, and mix well together. Serve in individual dishes or in a large serving bowl. Serve immediately.
- I don’t recommend keeping it for a long time as moisture from the cucumber will dilute the dressing and the salad becomes more like pickles. If that’s okay, keep it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.