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This version of sunomono uses more readily available English or slicing cucumbers, but if you live near an Asian market you could substitute Japanese cucumbers. Some recipes call for salting the cucumbers first, but we found that squeezing them in paper towels removed enough excess moisture without adding additional sodium. This Japanese-inspired salad is cool, crisp and simply delicious.

EatingWell Magazine, June/July 2005; updated October 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

What Kind of Cucumbers to Use for Cucumber Salad

Sunomono is traditionally made with Japanese cucumbers but you can use slicing cucumbers or hot house cucumbers in their place. We call for slicing cucumbers in this recipe which have a crisp and flavorful flesh. Slicing cucumbers have tougher skin and larger seeds than other cucumber varieties which is why we seed and partially peel them before they are sliced. Hot house cucumbers or English cucumbers are sometimes marketed as "seedless". They do have seeds, but they are often smaller and don't need to be removed. Their skin is also thinner, so they do not need to be peeled.

How to Prevent Soggy Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are mostly water and their water leaches out when they are sliced and combined with other ingredients. To prevent this from happening, you can salt the cucumbers and let them sit to draw some of the water out, then pat them dry. Or do as we do here by squeezing them gently between two layers of paper towels. Both methods work well, but using a double layer of paper towels helps keep sodium in check.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Peel cucumbers to leave alternating green stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Using a sharp knife or wide vegetable peeler, cut into very thin slices. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture.

  • Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine. Serve immediately.


To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

Nutrition Facts

about 1 cup
46 calories; protein 1.3g; carbohydrates 4.2g; dietary fiber 0.7g; sugars 2.4g; fat 2.3g; vitamin a iu 72.4IU; vitamin c 3.2mg; folate 14.1mcg; calcium 14.2mg; iron 6.7mg; magnesium 12.1mg; potassium 136.7mg; sodium 147.4mg; added sugar 1g.

1 vegetable, 1/2 fat