This is an extremely simple salad that is refreshing in the summertime. It was a favorite of mine throughout my childhood, perhaps because it was one of the few things my tyrannical Mother ever allowed me to make in her kitchen.
- Take the cucumbers and peel them. Slice into thin rounds. If you will be including daikon, treat it as you did the cucumbers.
- Mix the rice wine vinegar, tamari, sugar, and grated ginger.
- Pour the liquid over the sliced cucumbers (and daikon).
- Let the cucumbers sit about 15 minutes before serving.
- Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet until they pop; sprinkle over the cucumbers.
On hot sultry Maryland evenings, I would make sunomono as an accompaniment to half a block of firm silken tofu on a bed of crushed ice with some sliced scallions and a dab of gochujang for dinner. In such oppressive weather, the simplest foods taste best. It is a great accompaniment to robata (grilled meats and vegetables) and a tasty salad for picnics.
The general term in Japanese for this kind of lightly pickled preparation of vegetables is sunomono, gn0sis tells me, literally meaning "vinegared stuff". The traditional form of this salad includes wakame seaweed. If you have access to dried shredded wakame, about a half cup (dried) reconstituted in hot water.
Recipes from P to T