Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad)


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.

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
4 servings, about 1 cup each

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


  • 2 medium cucumbers, or 1 large English cucumber

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)


  1. 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.

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

    Japanese Cucumber Salad
    Crystal Hughes


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 (per serving)

46 Calories
2g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size about 1 cup
Calories 46
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Added Sugars 1g 2%
Protein 1g 3%
Total Fat 2g 3%
Vitamin A 72IU 1%
Vitamin C 3mg 4%
Folate 14mcg 4%
Sodium 147mg 6%
Calcium 14mg 1%
Iron 7mg 37%
Magnesium 12mg 3%
Potassium 137mg 3%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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