The term Sunomono refers to a range of vinegar-based Japanese foods and dishes. In Japanese, “su” means vinegar. In this culture, the tradition in dishes, especially seafood or vegetable, are usually coated in a vinegar dressing. Often times, sunomono refers to Japanese foods that are side dishes to a meal and accompany other Japanese plates. We need to remember that in ancient times, with the non-existence of electricity, and thus no refrigeration systems available, vinegar was the way to keep food preserved, for the enzymes in vinegar support this process. Sunomono (Cucumber Salad) is a perfect small side dish. It’s easy to make, healthy to eat, and very refreshing to accompany any main dish. The Rainbow sunomono I created adds carrots, radishes, lemons, and ginger to the basic, traditional Japanese one.
- 1/4 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/4 cup sliced radishes
- 1/4 cup sliced carrots
- 1/8 cup of thin sliced lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsps rice vinegar (or regular vinegar)
- 2 Tbsps of honey (or maple syrup)
- 2 Tsps of Tamari sauce (GF version of soy sauce -can also be used)
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsps sesame seeds
- Cut the cucumber in half and remove the seeds with a spoon, slice as thin as you can. Stir in salt, and let it sit for 5 minutes. Squeeze water out from cucumbers by using a small towel.
- Cut the carrots and radishes as thin as possible.
- Cut the lemon in very thin slices, then cut into eights.
- In a small bowl, mix rice vinegar, honey, and tamari sauce together until honey dissolves.
- Add cucumbers, radishes, carrots, lemons, and grated ginger. Sprinkle salt to taste, and the sesame seeds, mixing all ingredients lovingly and evenly.
This is a great side dish for a fish or a seafood meal. For the summer months it is very refreshing as the cucumbers keep us hydrated by flushing toxins; the carrots with their super beta-carotene content, work as an antioxidant in our bodies; the radishes are a naturally cooling food, and their pungent flavor has the ability to decrease excess heat in the body; the ginger with its high content of Gingerol will serve to support our immune system; And the addition of the zesty lemons contribute to the important process of alkalinizing our body.
The different ingredients added to this Rainbow Sunomono recipe support our body in many colourful ways. Enjoy!