Sunomono is a light and refreshing Japanese Cucumber Salad featuring thinly sliced cucumbers, wakame and vermicelli noodles tossed in a sweet rice vinegar dressing. It's the perfect easy and healthy summer side dish to accompany any meal!
Nothing beats fresh cucumbers during their peak season! So crispy and naturally sweet, I often find myself just snacking on them throughout the day or making this easy refreshing vinegar salad. This is a common side dish served in Japan, especially around summer time because its cooling and pairs so well with any main meal.
What is Sunomono?
Breaking down the word Sunomono, Su means vinegar and Mono means thing, so Sunomono would mean vinegar thing. This just typically means a dish is vinegar based. The vinegar is balanced with the sweetness from the sugar, the saltiness from the soy sauce and the refreshing crisp cucumbers that subtly help dilute the dressing so it isn't too strong but just enough for the flavours to come through.
How to Make Japanese Cucumber Salad
Just like this smashed cucumber salad, this is a super quick and simpe no-cook salad recipe consisting of everyday ingredients in my kitchen.
- Cucumbers: Japanese cucumbers is ideal, but here in Canada it's hard to come by so I use Persian cucumbers. Vietnamese or Lebanese cucumbers are also good options but do not use the large English cucumbers because they have a thicker skin, larger seeds and contain a lot of water.
- Wakame (seaweed): Can be found at local asian markets.
- Mung Bean Vermicelli Noodles: Be sure to get the mung bean vermicelli with thin strands so they soften easily.
- Rice Vinegar (Su)
- Cane Sugar: Or any neutral tasting sugars.
- Soy Sauce: Use tamari for a gluten free option.
- Sesame Seeds
- Soak the wakame and mung bean noodles until they expand and are softened. Drain well and pat them dry. Cut the noodles about 3 times so there are no long pieces.
- Mix the sauce by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and stirring well until sugar is dissolved.
- Slice the tips of the cucumbers and slice them into thin rounds using a mandolin or a sharp vegetable pairing knife. Pat them to remove any excess water.
- Add the wakame, mung bean noodles and cucumbers to the bowl with the dressing and toss until coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve!
This recipe for Japanese cucumber salad is the perfect summer salad or side dish to accompany any meal. Tangy, sweet, salty, crispy, light, refreshing... and you don't have to break a sweat to make it. It ticks off all the boxes for the best cucumber salad!
More Delicious Ways to Use Cucumbers:
- Japanese Pickled Cucumbers
- Japanese Smashed Cucumber Salad
- Tandoori Tempeh Bowls
- Peanut Noodles with Satay Tempeh
- Bibim Guksu (Spicy Korean Cold Noodles)
- Chilled Tanuki Udon (Chilled Udon Noodles)
If you recreate this Sunomono salad recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
Sunomono Salad is the perfect summer salad or side dish featuring cucumbers, wakame and mung bean noodles tossed in a vinegar based sweet and sour dressing. This Japanese Cucumber Salad is incredibly easy and quick to make, no cooking involved!
- 2 tsp dried wakame (3g)
- ¼ of a bundle of mung bean noodles (6g)
- 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 Japanese cucumber (120g)
- 1.5 tbsp rice vinegar (22g)
- 1 tsp cane sugar (5g)
- ¾ tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (5g)
- Pour boiled water over wakame and mung bean noodles, fully submerged. Let it sit for 5-8 minutes, until wakame has expanded and noodles are softened. Pat them dry and then cut the noodles 3 times with kitchen scissors so there are not long pieces.
- Slice the tips off the cucumbers and thinly slice them into rounds. Using a mandolin is ideal here (faster and more consistent slices). Add 1 teaspoon of salt and rub it into the cucumbers using your hands. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes and then rinse, drain and blot them to remove excess water.
- Into a bowl, add the rice vinegar, cane sugar, soy sauce and stir well.
- Add the cucumbers, wakame and noodles into the sauce mix and toss well. Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy!
- Helpful Equipment: thin mandolin slicer
- Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer).
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: sides
- Method: mixing
- Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, Japanese
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 41
- Sugar: 3.1g
- Sodium: 247mg
- Fat: 1g
- Saturated Fat: 0.17g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0.8g
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 6.9g
- Fiber: 1.5g
- Protein: 1.5g
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: sunomono, Japanese cucumber salad recipe
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I used to have sunomono all the time when I was back in Brazil. Not many people know that Brazil has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. When I saw this recipe I just had to make it. The salad tastes just like I remember it! A refreshing cucumber salad, perfect as an appetizer or side dish. Love this recipe and will make it again for sure!
Delicious! We used watermelon radish instead of rice noodles for lower carbs.