Japanese Cucumber Salad
This very simple little preparation is an example of a Japanese Sunomono, or ‘vinegared’ dish. There are all sorts of variations on the general theme but this is about as basic as it gets. You can, if you like, simply use plain rice vinegar for the dressing but, today, we will be using a prepared nihaizu seasoned vinegar preparation…
- 1 cup Cucumber slices, all about 2-3 mm thick (see note below);
- ½ tsp. Salt;
- 2 tbsp. Nihaizu (or use plain rice vinegar);
- Sesame seeds for garnish (white, black, or a mix).
For the cucumber, select a thin Japanese or English variety; ie: the seedless sort, or a type whose seeds are very small and do not need to be removed.
Salt the cucumber slices well, making sure all pieces and sides receive a little, and then toss them. Allow to sit in a bowl for about 20 or 30 minutes or so until the cucumber has softened and some of the water has been thrown off.
Squeeze the slices well to remove as much liquid as possible and then toss them with the vinegar. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes.
Finally, squeeze the slices once again just to remove excess vinegar and then divide them attractively amongst serving bowls. Garnish with sesame seeds (or anything you fancy) and serve at room temperature.