Sunomono - Vinegar Salads

by Celeste Heiter, Dec 28, 2002 | Destinations: Japan / Tokyo

A favorite way to begin a Japanese meal is with a light vinegared salad made with cucumbers and other fresh vegetables, sometimes mixed with diced seafood such as crab, octopus, or shrimp and sprinkled with sesame seeds. A simple marinade of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil makes an excellent dressing.

Sunomono (4 to 8 servings)

The word sunomono means 'vinegared things' and can be prepared with almost any combination of ingredients, from fresh raw vegetables and greens to finely diced seafoods. Here's a tasty and easy to prepare sunomono recipe:

1 Large cucumber
1 cup precooked bay shrimp
Wash a large cucumber and trim off the ends. Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a teaspoon. Cut the cucumber halves into paper-thin slices and place in a bowl. Add one cup of tiny pre-cooked bay shrimp and marinate for 2 hours (stirring occasionally) in Rice Wine Vinegar Dressing:

1 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
½ cup mirin or sake
2 tbsp sesame oil

Thoroughly mix and serve the sunomono in small individual dishes with a slotted spoon to drain off excess marinade. Garnish with a pinch of pickled ginger and sprinkle with sesame seeds.