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Japanese Cucumber Sunomono

Refreshing Japanese Cucumber Sunomono: sweet and tangy pickled cucumbers, crunchy seaweed, and toasted sesame seeds. Try this easy and healthy recipe now and escape to a Japanese summer!

In this refreshing Japanese-inspired salad, thinly sliced cucumbers are marinated in a sweet and tangy rice vinegar mixture, paired with tender wakame seaweed and crunchy sesame seeds. This light and revitalizing side dish, known as Sunomono, is perfect for warm weather gatherings or as a simple accompaniment to grilled meats or seafood.

Ready Time

30 mins


10 servings


  • thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers 20-25
  • rice vinegar 1 3/4 cups
  • granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups
  • salt 1/2 cup
  • water 2 1/4 cups
  • Wakame seaweed 1/4 cup, dried
  • sesame seeds 2 tablespoons
  • optional: grated ginger 1/4 cup


Rinse the Wakame seaweed in cold water, then soak it in water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and cut into bite-sized pieces.

In a large saucepan, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the water to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled vinegar mixture and sliced cucumbers. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, drain the soaked Wakame seaweed and add it to the bowl with the cucumbers.

Toss gently to combine. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top of the salad.

If using grated ginger, sprinkle it over the top as well.

Serve chilled, garnished with additional sesame seeds if desired.


For the best flavor, use thinly sliced Japanese cucumbers, as they have a milder flavor and a crisper texture than regular cucumbers.

Rice vinegar is a key ingredient in this recipe, so try not to substitute it with another type of vinegar.

To reduce the amount of sugar, you can decrease the granulated sugar to 1 cup, but keep in mind that the sunomono will be slightly less sweet.

For a more intense flavor, you can soak the Wakame seaweed for a longer period, but be careful not to over-soak it, as it can become too salty.

You can make the sunomono ahead of time, but it’s best consumed within 24 hours, as the cucumbers will start to lose their crunchiness.

If you choose to add grated ginger, be sure not to overpower the dish, as ginger can be quite strong.

This recipe makes 10 servings, so feel free to adjust the ingredient quantities if you need more or less.

Nutrional Value

  • Calories: 154
  • Total Fat: 0.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 450mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 37.2g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.3g
  • Sugars: 24.5g
  • Protein: 2.5g
Japanese Cucumber Sunomono
Japanese Cucumber Sunomono

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