Nourish: Sunomono

NourishJuly 2, 2024

Nourish: Sunomono

On hot summer days, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a chilled salad to cool off and invigorate your senses. Japanese cucumber salad, or Sunomono, is a perfect example of this. With crisp, thinly sliced cucumbers bathed in a light, tangy vinaigrette, this dish is both cooling and delicious. Simple to prepare and incredibly satisfying, Sunomono is a delightful addition to any meal, offering a burst of freshness and a touch of elegance. Whether you're looking for a light appetizer or a refreshing side, this cucumber salad will become a summer staple in your kitchen. Let’s get started.

Sunomono Recipe 


  • 2 Japanese cucumbers 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

    *Optional —a pinch of red pepper flakes or a few slices of wakame seaweed (rehydrated) 


  1. We first need to prepare the cucumbers. Thinly slice the cucumbers, ideally with a mandoline for uniform slices.

  2. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for about 10 minutes to draw out excess water.

  3. After 10 minutes, gently squeeze the cucumber slices with your hands or press them with a clean kitchen towel to remove the excess water.

  4. For the dressing, in a small bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil until the sugar is fully dissolved.

  5. Add the drained cucumber slices to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat evenly. Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  6. Just before serving, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and, if desired, a pinch of red pepper flakes or rehydrated wakame seaweed.

This Sunomono is more than just a salad; it's a refreshing escape from the heat, a cool and tangy treat that perfectly complements summer’s warmth. Enjoy it as a light, palate-cleansing appetizer or a crisp side dish that pairs beautifully with a variety of main courses.



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