Cucumber and Imitation Crab Sunomono - Simple Japanese Salad

Updated on January 6, 2018
Sunomono is a traditional Japanese "salad" usually served with other dishes alongside rice.
Sunomono is a traditional Japanese "salad" usually served with other dishes alongside rice.

The Versatile Cucumber

There are many reasons why cucumbers are one of my favorite vegetables. Not only are they very low in calories and exceptionally hydrating on a hot summer day, they are one of the most versatile vegetables found in the produce section of practically any supermarket.

Sure it's easy to eat them raw in salads, but I find eating them this way can get rather stale very quick. They hardly catch my attention in this state at salad bars unless I'm particularly craving them for some strange reason.

I know it's easy to just chop them and adding them to salads but there are better ways to make use of this crunchy vegetable.

One of the easiest and most refreshing side dishes, the Sunomono (literally means vinegared food) is a staple in most Japanese households. In fact, it's so easy to make, this was one of the first things my mother taught me to make when I was a mere child.

I remember begging her to let me help out in the kitchen, and as I was too young to play with fire, she would let me help squeeze out the excess water from the cucumbers. As I was only 6 or 7 years old and didn't have much strength, she always ended up having to finish squeezing out the excess liquid that comes out of them after being salted.

Having said that, making sure to get as much liquid out of the cucumbers is probably the most difficult part of the recipe. The rest is almost too easy.

Helpful Tips

  • Squeeze out as much excess liquid out from the cucumbers. Use your hands for best results.
  • Japanese cucumbers are best because they have less seeds in them. If you can't find them, you may use regular cucumbers.
  • Rice vinegar is essential for authentic results. If not, cider vinegar is a good substitute.

Did You Like This Recipe?

4.8 stars from 6 ratings of Cucumber and Imitation Crab Sunomono

Preparation Time

Prep time: 15 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 Cucumbers, preferably Japanese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup imitation crab, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Wash and slice cucumbers thinly.
  2. Put the cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle with half the salt.
  3. Mix to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. With your hand, squeeze out as much excess water from the cucumbers as you possibly can. Drain and discard the excess liquid.
  5. Put the cucumbers back into the bowl.
  6. Add rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix to combine well.
  7. Garnish with shredded imitation crab and black sesame seeds.

Watch This Video To See How Easy It Is To Make

Questions & Answers

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      • Kylyssa profile image

        Kylyssa Shay 

        2 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

        I had to come back to say that this salad has become a favorite in my home. I fixed it for my roommate yesterday and thought about how glad I was you shared this simple, delicious recipe as it's something she still eats while undergoing chemotherapy. She likes it that much and it's one of those precious foods her medication doesn't make taste weird for her. Thank you!

      • Blackspaniel1 profile image

        Blackspaniel1 

        3 years ago

        I see your images indicate you also consider the presentation very important. when it looks good it tastes great.

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        4 years ago

        Good to find a recipe that uses imitation crab. I prefer the real deal, but my hubby occasionally picks up the imitation. I am sure he would love this recipe idea.

      • Susan Recipes profile image

        Susan 

        4 years ago from India

        Wow.. This looks fabulous. Thanks for the recipe.

      • profile image

        debW07 

        4 years ago

        This sounds delicious and very healthy, too.

      • MariannesWhims profile image

        Marianne Gardner 

        4 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

        Your salad looks very appetizing! Very elegant. Sounds delicious with milder rice vinegar.

      • Deborah-Diane profile image

        Deborah-Diane 

        4 years ago from Orange County, California

        Wow! This sounds really delicious! I'll have to give it a try.

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Arachnea yes you can definitely use real crab. I used imitation because it's cheaper but real crab would make it even better! Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for the kind words. ;)

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Kylyssa so glad you liked it!

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        LofnsA178 it really is super simple to make and yummy too

      • Arachnea profile image

        Tanya Jones 

        4 years ago from Texas USA

        This looks absolutely delish and so easy to make. I'll have to put this on the list of things to make for my friends. I didn't see an answer to this. Would it be okay to use real crab? Your photos are awesome.

      • Kylyssa profile image

        Kylyssa Shay 

        4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

        It was delicious! I added a sprinkling of fresh chopped chives but it was yummy before I did that.

      • LornsA178 profile image

        LornsA178 

        4 years ago

        It looks so good! What is nice is, it's very simple to make. Good salad to make when you're in a hurry.

      • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

        June Parker 

        4 years ago from New York

        yea, no!

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Kailua-KonaGirl, ohhh teriyaki meat sticks sound good just about now.

      • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

        June Parker 

        4 years ago from New York

        I make it with wakame and similar to namasu because my husband doesn't like imitation crab. It is a great way to eat up the cucumbers in our garden and a fabulous side for teriyaki meat sticks!

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        tazzytamar, thanks so much!

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Kylyssa thanks for visiting. Let me know how yours turn out!

      • tazzytamar profile image

        Anna 

        4 years ago from chichester

        This looks soo yummy :)

      • Kylyssa profile image

        Kylyssa Shay 

        4 years ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

        My roommate makes a delicious cucumber salad without the crab or sesame seeds and we love both those things so this sounds amazing. I'm getting the ingredients when I go shopping today! Thank you for sharing this simple but delightful recipe.

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Rhonda, I hope you try this one out. Thanks for visiting!

      • smine27 profile imageAUTHOR

        Shinichi Mine 

        4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

        Merrci this is one of the most refreshing salads on earth. Hope you enjoy!

      • Rhonda Lytle profile image

        Rhonda Lytle 

        4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

        This sounds really good on a hot summer day. Thank you for something new to do with cucumbers. Typically, it's just salads. Neat!

      • Merrci profile image

        Merry Citarella 

        4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

        Looks so good! Will definitely try this for the cucumbers and the crab. Looks very refreshing too.

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