Japanese Cucumber Salad Sunomono

Introducing my Japanese Cucumber Salad Sunomono, a refreshing and crunchy delight that captures the essence of authentic Japanese flavors! With its delightful blend of salty, zesty cucumbers and a touch of sweetness, this recipe can be prepared in just 5 minutes using only 7 simple ingredients. This salad is the perfect choice for me as I seek an easy and healthy side dish to accompany my Asian-inspired meals!

Japanese cucumber salad sunomono served in a bowl being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Why I Love This Recipe

This Japanese Cucumber Salad, also known as Sunomono, is a quick and easy dish that represents the essence of Japanese cuisine made hassle free with my recipe. I make this traditional Japanese dish using fresh cucumbers, dried seaweed, rice vinegar, and a hint of soy sauce, which offers a perfect balance of sweet and sour notes prefect for my taste buds!

This salad is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans, making it an inclusive option for those with dietary preferences. It’s the perfect choice for those seeking an easy and healthy side dish to accompany their Japanese-inspired meals. Just like my Japanese Pork Belly Salad and my Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad recipe, this dish will add a refreshing crunch to any of your meals and I promise it will soon become your go-to vegetable side dish!



  • Cucumber – Persian cucumber, Japanese kyuri or baby cucumbers work best.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Dried Seaweed – mix of Dried Seaweed, also known as wakame seaweed, that comes in a bag.
  • Sweetener –  use your preferred sweetener.
  • Rice VinegarRice Vinegar distilled from rice used in Asian cuisine. Can sub with distilled white vinegar.
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.

🥒 Cucumber Ingredient Note

When it comes to choosing cucumbers for your cucumber salad, opt for firmer varieties like Persian Cucumbers, Japanese Cucumbers, or Baby Cucumbers. These cucumber options deliver a satisfying crunch with every bite.

Persian cucumbers on the counter top.


Step 1 Prepare the dressing by mixing rice vinegar, sweetener, soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds together.

Japanese cucumber salad sunomono dressing in a bowl.

🥄 Dissolving Sweetener Pro Tip

Slightly warm up the rice vinegar in the Microwave for 10-15 Seconds to allow the sweetener to dissolve more quickly. Afterward, mix in your other ingredients.

Step 2 Peel the cucumber skin every other stroke and generously rub salt into the cucumber. Then, cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices and place them in a mixing bowl.

Salted cucumber.

🥒 Cucumber Slicing Pro Tip

Avoid Slicing the cucumber Too Thin, as it can result in the loss of the crunchiness that makes this cucumber salad special.

🥒 Peel or Not to Peel Cucumbers

You don’t necessarily need to peel the skin off Japanese cucumbers. While cucumber skin is rich in nutrients and offers health benefits, some recipes may recommend peeling for aesthetic reasons. It ultimately comes down to personal preference, and leaving the skin on is perfectly fine if you prefer to do so.

Step 3 Rehydrate the seaweed by placing the dried seaweed in a bowl of water. Squeeze out any excess water after hydration and place it in the mixing bowl. Store it in the fridge until ready to serve.

Sliced cucumber in a bowl.

Step 4 Pour the dressing over the cucumber and seaweed just prior to serving.

Japanese cucumber salad sunomono in a bowl.

📄 Serving Note

To achieve the ideal crunchiness of this cucumber salad, it’s essential to Keep the Salad Chilled and Pour the Dressing Over it approximately 5 Minutes Before Serving. This timing ensures that the cucumbers retain their refreshing crunch while absorbing the flavors of the dressing.

Japanese cucumber salad sunomono served in a bowl topped with toasted sesame seeds, top down shot.

Recipe Variations

Incorporating sliced boiled octopus into this salad elevates it to a traditional Japanese appetizer known as Tako-Su. This addition brings together the tenderness of octopus and the refreshing cucumber base, resulting in a delightful contrast of flavors. It’s an excellent option for those seeking to venture into new taste sensations and explore the rich culinary traditions of Japan.

Paring Recommendations

This refreshing salad complements a wide range of Japanese-style meat dishes, with a particular affinity for chicken-based reicpes. Whether you’re preparing a Chicken Sesame Oil Stir Fry that boasts rich, nutty sesame flavors, indulging in the crispy and flavorful umami packed Japanese Fried Chicken, or savoring oven baked Tebasaki Chicken Wings, this cucumber salad serves as an ideal side.

Japanese cucumber salad sunomono served in a bowl being picked up with a pair of chopsticks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I properly rehydrate dried seaweed for the salad?

Place the dried seaweed in a bowl of room temperature water for approximately 5 minutes. After rehydration, gently squeeze out any excess water by hand.

Is this salad suitable for a vegetarian or vegan diet?

Yes, this salad is suitable for both vegetarian and vegan diets. All the ingredients used in this recipe are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, making it an inclusive and delicious option for those following these dietary preferences.

Can I make this recipe without the sesame seeds?

Certainly, you can make this recipe without the sesame seeds. The toasted sesame seeds primarily contribute to the texture of the dish, and omitting them won't significantly impact the overall flavor.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, simply place them in an airtight container and refrigerate. The salad will maintain its quality for approximately 2-3 days in the refrigerator. However, please note that the crispness of the cucumbers will diminish with time.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese sunomono cucumber salad served in a bowl topped with toasted sesame seeds.

Japanese Cucumber Salad Sunomono

Explore the delightful flavors of my Japanese Cucumber Salad recipe, also known as Sunomono. This quick and easy salad boasts a perfect balance of sweet and sour notes. Perfect for any meal or occasion.
4.82 from 16 votes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese cucumber recipe, Japanese cucumber salad recipe, sunomono recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 46kcal



  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Fill a bowl of water and add the Dried Seaweed. It should re-hydrate in about 5 minutes.
    Seaweed being rehydrated in a bowl of water.
  • Mix Rice Vinegar, sweetener, Soy Sauce, and Toasted Sesame Seeds in a bowl.
    Japanese cucumber salad sunomono dressing in a bowl.
  • With a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off the cucumbers every other stroke. Pour 1/2 tsp of salt into the palm of your hands and rub the salt onto the cucumber. Repeat with the other cucumber.
    Salted cucumber.
  • Cut the cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices and place into a serving bowl.
    Sliced cucumber in a bowl.
  • Once the seaweed is re-hydrated, squeeze excess water from the seaweed and add into the serving bowl. Pour dressing, toss and keep refrigerated until ready to serve (best to serve within 30 min - 1 hour).
    Japanese cucumber salad sunomono in a bowl.


Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 636mg | Potassium: 417mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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