Saturday, October 12, 2013

Recipe: Japanese cucumber & wakame salad

In Japan, there are two main styles of salad which are popular; sunomono (with vinegar based dressings) and aemono (with thicker dressing that include either sesame seeds, tofu or miso). Japanese salads are often served in small portions, either at the start of the meal or near the end (before the rice).

Japanese cucumber and wakame (seaweed) salad

Cucumber and wakame salad is a popular Japanese sunomono appetizer. Dried wakame (seaweed) is rehydrated until softened and is added to the crunchy cucumber slices, before being tossed in a tangy vinegar dressing. I love wakame as it has many health benefits, especially to women, such as being good for your skin and hair.  This is a salad that even my kids enjoy eating, very appetizing and refreshing. I served this with my Japanese crispy sesame and ginger chicken.

Cucumber & wakame salad
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Japanese Bible
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves 4

For the dressing:
3 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar
2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
2 tsp caster sugar

2 tbsp dried wakame (seaweed)
2 Japanese cucumbers
1 tsp salt

To garnish
Sesame seeds (optional)

1. In a small saucepan, combine dressing ingredients over medium heat for 1 minute, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat immediately, leave to cool slightly, then refridgerate for 30 minutes until chilled.

2. Cut each cucumber into half, then half again lengthways. Slice into thin slices. Dissolve the salt in 1 1/2 cups of cold water, add the cucumber slices and soak for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain well and pat dry with paper towel.

3. Soak the wakame in a large bowl of water for 5-10 minutes, until rehydrated. Drain, rinse under cold water, drain well again, and pat dry with paper towel to remove excess moisture.

At the start of soaking

Soak until softened

4. Place cucumber and wakame in a bowl, pour the chilled dressing over and toss gently to combine. Serve in individual bowls. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for garnish.

*I am submitting this to the Little Thumbs Up "Soy Beans" event organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by Mich of Piece of Cake. You can link your soy recipes here.

*I am also submitting this to Cook-Your-Books #5 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and to Asian Food Fest #1 Oct 2013 : Japan hosted by Alan from travelling-foodies.

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  1. Simple but comfort food. I love Japanese cucumber.


  2. May I ask which brand of wakame is good ? I always read about the goodness of seaweed but have never bought it before. Hope to get a reply from you, thanks !

    1. Hi there, I bought mine from Jusco Midvalley - it is by a company called Seaweed Enterprise. There are a few grades, try and get the Super Grade Wakame - the quality is much better.

  3. good salad for the times when you're encouraging your kids to eat healthy! :D

  4. Delicious and refreshing salad , Yen ! Love this kind of appetizer :)

  5. A refreshing plate of salad! Perfect to serve with any dish!
    Thanks for linking to CYB!

  6. I love this refreshing salad as well to go with rice.

  7. Yen, I have eaten this at a Japanese buffet and I love it!


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