Japanese Cucumber Salad

5 from 3 votes

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This clean fresh salad is the perfect simple side for any Asian meal - and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

Japanese Cucumber Salad in a white bowl on a wooden table.

Asian Cucumber Salad

There are some cuisines that most of us only experience when we go out to eat, perhaps imagining that they are thorny to attempt at home. One of them seems to be Japanese food. Even sushi aside, it just seems like it might be complicated or difficult or that the ingredients will be hard to find. This simple cucumber salad will let you dip a toe into this cuisine.

White bowl of Japanese Cucumber Salad.

This salad is as easy a salad can be — sliced cucumbers plus a dressing. It just draws upon some ingredients common in Japanese — and other Asian — cooking.

Bowl of Japanese Cucumber Salad on a white wooden table.

Sesame Oil and Sesame Seeds

Sesame is a very common flavor in many Asian cuisines, Japanese amongst them. Toasted sesame seeds are a common and delicious way to finish a dish with a bit of extra flavor and crunch, not to mention visual appeal. Sesame oil adds wonderful toasty flavor to dishes, though it should be used sparingly as it can be quite potent. Keep sesame oil in the fridge, especially after you open the bottle, as it can start to turn rancid at warmer temperatures.

Mirin

Mirin is a lower-alcohol version of rice wine, with a bit of sweetness. It’s great in dressings.

Japanese Cucumber Salad in a white bowl on a wooden table.

Wasabi

This Japanese horseradish paste is often blended into soy sauce and used as a dipping sauce for sushi, but it can add heat to dressings and sauces. Sometimes it is sold powdered, and you need to add a bit of water to turn it into a paste.

This clean fresh salad is the perfect simple side for any Asian meal – and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

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There are many other Japanese ingredients worth exploring, but this is a great start.  Sometimes you just need a light and crunchy salad as part of an Asian meal – this is a 10 minute perfect answer. (Also check out one of our all time favorites: Japanese Restaurant Salad Dressing.)

Japanese Cucumber Salad on a table with a bowl of a different salad.

What to Serve with Japanese Cucumber Salad:

Bowl of Japanese Cucumber Salad on a table with other food.

Other Cucumber Salad Recipes:

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5 from 3 votes

Japanese Cucumber Salad

This clean fresh salad is the perfect simple side for any Asian meal – and takes less than 10 minutes to make.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mirin a type of rice wine; optional
  • ½ teaspoon wasabi paste
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 scallions white and green parts, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 8 Persian or baby cucumbers thinly sliced
  • Toasted sesame seeds to garnish, white or black; optional

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, salt, mirin (if using) wasabi paste, sesame oil and scallions. Add the cucumbers to the dressing, and toss to coat.
  • Transfer to a shallow serving bowl and serve topped with nori, sesame seeds and pickled ginger slices, if desired.

Notes

Sesame is a very common flavor in many Asian cuisines, Japanese amongst them. Toasted sesame seeds are a common and delicious way to finish a dish with a bit of extra flavor and crunch, not to mention visual appeal. Sesame oil adds wonderful toasty flavor to dishes, though it should be used sparingly as it can be quite potent. Keep sesame oil in the fridge, especially after you open the bottle, as it can start to turn rancid at warmer temperatures.

Nutrition

Calories: 22kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 370mg, Potassium: 127mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 118IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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