Cucumber Sunomono Salad
Cucumber sunomono is a Japanese salad with a rice vinegar dressing that has a quick and easy recipe that can be done in less than 5 minutes!
Japanese cuisine is very pure and does their best to preserve its natural senses. Japanese philosophy to the truest, best tasting food is in its natural state. That is why many of their foods are either eaten raw or slightly salted or cured with vinegar. Sushi is the perfect example in how they exercise this philosophy. Sunomono (su means vinegar) is another great example in how Japanese preserve the cucumber’s essence with its cool crunch.
Rice is also synonymous with Japanese cuisine. Rice was probably introduced to Japan by Southeast Asia, China around the 2nd century BC and it quickly became the choice grain for the upper class. As early as the 4th century, rice was already fermented in making sake. As the cultivation of rice and it being readily available for all classes, rice vinegar first became popular during the Edo Period in 1600-1870.
Rice vinegar is used for foods that do not require cooking. Sugar,salt is added to make many different types of food we are accustomed to now. The flavor profile is mild and has a sweet aroma and less sharp than wine vinegar. When you add the right ingredients having rice vinegar, sugar, and salt as the main, one can create a delicious salad dressing that is popular in Japan called sunomono.
Although you can prepare sunomono with many different ingredients, the cucumber is the most common. When working in the sushi restaurant, we had many different add-ons that our customer’s absolutely loved. Shrimp sunomono, crabmeat sunomono, octopus sunomono to name a few. Our version will be at its purest form, and will do a quick and easy recipe that shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes!
(With all The Journey posts, which will explain the 5Ws+H and go deeper than just the recipe, I will also create a Leftovers post, as a way to create something fun and tasty with, you guessed it, the leftovers. You can go to that page here: Pear Strawberry Slush with Cucumber and Ice Cream
*I went to culinary school, worked as a chef for 8 years, but never really learned how to cook until I read these four books. If you want to go beyond cooking from just reading a recipe, I go into details in how these four books changed the way I cook: Learning How to Cook
Before you continue, links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links to books I love and still use to this day!
What: Cucumber Sunomono
Who: Every Japanese kitchen should have rice vinegar, and so should you!
Where: Japan, now it is commonly used in many Asian countries
When: It could have been made as early as the 4th century when sake was made, but it only became popular during the Edo Period in 1600-1870.
Why: With its mild and sweet taste, the rice vinegar, is versatile and gentle enough to preserve the natural state of the ingredient