This Japanese cucumber salad, called sunomono, is one of the simplest summer salads. All it takes is cucumbers, vinegar, oil, ginger, and lemongrass to start the conversation.
Simple. Surprising. Spunky. Just what we look for in a summer salad. Just what we found in this jumble of cucumbers, vinegar, and ginger. (Despite the title that Jamie Oliver confers on it, it’s not exactly the most traditional of Japanese recipes. But we’re certainly not holding that against it.) Originally published August 18th, 2010.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC A Seedy Situation Note
You know better than anyone else your tolerance for cucumber seeds. We rather like the slippery, watery little guys. But if you don’t, consider it as you select and slice your cucumbers, opting instead for a hothouse cucumber—the pricy, plastic-wrapped ones with nary a seed—or simply stop slicing the kirby or regular cukes as soon as you get to the seedy part. So simple.
Japanese Cucumber Salad
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 10 M
- Serves 4
- For the ginger dressing
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 large thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated or cut into very fine slivers
- 1 stick lemongrass, outer leaves removed, inner ones finely chopped (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- A few drops of soy sauce, to taste
- For the cucumber salad
- 3 kirby cucumbers or 1 large English or Japanese cucumber, unpeeled but rinsed
- A handful of cilantro leaves, roughly chopped or left whole
- A handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped or ripped into pieces
- Make the ginger dressing
- 1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Taste and adjust the ingredients accordingly. (You can cover and refrigerate for up to several hours before the ginger flavor will become really quite pronounced.)
- Make the cucumber salad
- 2. Thinly slice the cucumber(s) lengthwise, either with a mandoline, a handheld slicer, or one of those cheap old potato peelers. Basically you want to get very thin ribbons of cucumber.
- 3. Place the ribbons on a plate or platter and spread them out. (You can cover and refrigerate for up to several hours.) Sprinkle with some ripped up fresh mint and cilantro and drizzle generously with the ginger dressing.