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Japanese-Style Cucumber Salad

A tangle of Japanese cucumber salad, made with cucumbers, mint, cilantro, and an rice vinegar dressing.
This Japanese-style 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.
Jamie Oliver

Prep 10 mins
Total 10 mins
4 servings
223 kcal


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

  • 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

  • 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.
  • 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.