Did any of you guess that I’d make a Japanese Cucumber Salad called Sunomono (pickled cucumbers) with the organic Japanese cucumbers my co-worker gave me from her CSA box? Sunomono is that fantastic cucumber salad that is served on the side or with Ahi Tuna. This is the perfect recipe to use whenever you have some Japanese or English Cucumbers to use up.
I LOVE it and learned how to recreate it when I was in college by one of the Japanese ladies that I worked with. It is incredibly easy and so tasty. The Key Ingredient is definitely the Aji- Mirin ~ Sweet Japanese Wine. It really takes the flavor to the next level.
1-2 Large English Cucumbers or 10 Small Japanese Cucumbers
1 ½ cups Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Aji-Miirin (Sweet Japanese Wine)
½ cup sugar (the real deal works best here)
¼ cup sesame seeds
1. Roast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat until toasted about 1-2 minutes stirring frequently until lightly browned.
2. Thinly slice the cucumbers using a salad shooter or manual cucumber slicer. Place sliced cucumbers in a strainer and sprinkle with salt until well covered. Let stand for 15-30 minutes and rinse. After rinsing squeeze excess water and juice out of cucumbers.
3. Stir the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add cucumbers and sesame seeds to the liquid mixture and stir well.
4. Let stand 1-2 hours or overnight (best results) to marinate.
Note: Due to the content of the vinegar, the items store best in glass dishes or jars.
Optional: For variety you can add thinly sliced red onion or crab or whatever you like.
Japanese cucumbers work best in this recipe because you eat the skin.
The two star ingredients are Japanese Sweet Wine & SEASONED Rice Vinegar.
Thinly slice the cucumbers using a Mandolin Slicer, Salad Shooter (do they make these anymore) or the thin slicer on your Food Processor. Mandolins are fairly cheap to buy and they cut up any ingredient quickly.
It is really important to have your cucumbers sliced thinly for the best texture.
Add your liquids to your sugar while your cucumbers soak in sea salt. Stir until dissolved.
After rinsing and draining your cucumbers add them to your liquid mixture along with your toasted sesame seeds. Marinate for at least 1-2 hours.
Enjoy by itself or served over a salad using the marinade as dressing ~ Delish!
Try it ~ you’ll like it even if cucumbers or pickles are not your thing!