Japanese Cucumber Salad (Sunomono) Recipe
The Sunomono recipe was on my list of recipes I wanted to try for a long time. Looking at the ingredient list, I was sure I would love it. It was exactly as I predicted. There are two reasons why I waited so long. The first is that it took time for me to obtain wakame. Although it is not a must for the recipe, I just wanted to try it with wakame. I was planning to buy it for this reason and use it in other recipes as well. I try not to buy ingredients that I will use in a single recipe and that will ibe left over. I can always use wakame as I try Japanese cuisine from time to time. That's why I didn't see any harm in buying it. But I could not find a chance. One day, I entered the Japanese market near my house. I turned my head to the right and the first product I saw was wakame. Making sure it was the right time, I directly bought the wakame and left the store.
The second reason is somewhat pathetic. Crispy cucumbers are not easily available here. Spain's native cucumbers are very thick, have too much seeds and generally soft rather than crunchy. Apart from the local cucumber, there is also one of those long cucumbers from the Netherlands, which I guess everyone knows. It is relatively better than local cucumbers, it does not cause problems in recipes such as cacık recipe or shepherd's salad recipe, but it is still not suitable for such a recipe that requires young cucumbers like sunomono.
There's a greengrocer that brings the cucumbers I love. They generally bring them in winter, not in summer. I think they are grown under cover. I haven't been there for a long time. I've been there a few days ago. I saw that those crispy cucumbers and fresh white zucchinis (which is also hard to find in Spain) had arrived. I just filled the my bags. By the way, you will probably read the sunomono recipe in the summer, long after I wrote this article. Don't be confused by the time inconsistency.
Since Sunomono is a simple recipe with few ingredients, the quality of the ingredients is very important. When I say ingredients, I mean cucumber, which is the main ingredient. That's why I waited so long to find the cucumber I wanted. The cucumber should be thin-skinned, crispy enough to make a crunch when you bite it, and fresh enough to fill the room with the smell when you cut them. Thus, even when rubbed with salt, it should still remain fresh enough to be felt in the tooth.
Is Rice Vinegar Necessary?
Another ingredient that isn't as easy to find in the recipe as wakame is rice vinegar. I have it at home all the time because I use it in recipes like sushi. But if you are not fond of Japanese cuisine, it is quite normal not to have rice vinegar at home. In this case, you can use lemon juice instead of rice vinegar. Grape cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar can become dominant in the recipe because it has a unique smell. But what should be dominant in the recipe is the taste and smell of cucumber. Therefore, lemon juice, which does not stand out with its odor in salad dressings and only gives acidity, will be a more suitable alternative.
Enjoy the recipe...
- 5 cucumbers,
- 1 teaspoon of salt,
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce,
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar,
- 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds,
- 1 teaspoon of sugar,
- 1 tablespoon of wakame (optional).
- Slice the cucumbers as thinly as possible without peeling them and take them into a bowl,
- Sprinkle salt on them and rub them in such a way that they release their water but you don't crush them,
- Squeeze the juices and take them into a separate bowl,
- Whisk soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame seeds and sugar in a separate bowl,
- Pour the sauce over the cucumbers and mix,
- Sprinkle wakame over.
Enjoy your meal...