Sunomono Salad


  • 2 Japanese or Persian cucumbers (⅔ English cucumber)
  • Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
  • 1 Tbsp dried wakame seaweed
  • 4 real or imitation crabmeat
  • Toasted white sesame seeds (optional)


  • 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
  • 2 Tbsp dashi (Japanese soup stock; click to learn more) (use kombu dashi or water for vegan/vegetarian)


  1. If you are using Japanese cucumber, this step called “Itazuri” is necessary. Wash the cucumber and sprinkle it with salt. With both hands, rub the cucumber against the cutting board. It removes the pointy bumps on the cucumber and helps absorb the dressing.
  2. Alternately peel ½-inch strips lengthwise, leaving a strip of the skin intact. With this method, the cucumber slices have some decorative dark green accents and a little bit of extra crunchiness. Cut the cucumbers into thin slices, about ⅛-inch thickness (or even thinner).
  3. Sprinkle salt and rub the cucumber slices gently with your hands. After 5 minutes or so when they are wilted, quickly rinse the cucumber slices under cold water. Squeeze the cucumber to get rid of the water.
  4. Put dried wakame in a small bowl and soak in water for 10 minutes. Squeeze dry to get rid of the water.
  5. Cut the crab sticks in half and separate (shred) with your hands.
  6. In a small saucepan, combine dressing ingredients and mix well. Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. In a large bowl, combine cucumber, wakame, and crab sticks. Pour the dressing over and mix together. Sprinkle sesame seeds and enjoy them at room temperature or chilled.


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