Sunomono Salad, A Refreshing Cucumber Salad

Two wooden bowls filled with salad, with chopsticks

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I love Sunomono Salad. Like so many Japanese dishes, the simplicity of the carefully chosen ingredients allows the main one to shine. In this case the main ingredient is cucumber. Somehow a simple dressing of rice vinegar, sugar and tamari, tart and sweet, elevate the cucumber into something more. In a  sunomono salad, cucumber somehow seems to become even more crisp and refreshing.

cucumber noodles in a wooden bowl on a table

After a slow start, cucumbers are coming on fast and furious in my garden. Every time I look, there’s a new one to pick. I like using them in my morning smoothies, so I am managing to keep up with them, but just barely.

2 wooden bowls of sunomono salad and two sets of black chopsticks

Cucumbers Are Nutritious

Did you know that cucumbers are not only a refreshing summer snack but are super healthy and nutrient-packed as well? If you are interested, check out Cucumbers: Health Benefits, Nutritional Content, and Uses, to find out more.

two servings of sunomono salad in wooden bowls

Using A Spiralizer For Cucumber “Noodles”

I have a spiralizer, but never really intended to do a post with it, just because I’m a bit of a rebel when it comes to trends. This is a trend that could have staying power though because unlike some, it’s a healthy one. I’ve used mine with zucchini and carrots, so when cucumbers got me thinking sunomono salad, I brought it out. I found that this device was perfect for making this salad, eliminating the noodles. And it was effortlessly fun spinning out these beautiful cucumber noodles.

Two bowls of salad on a table

We didn’t miss the noodles. Sunomono salad is all about that cucumber, so, my take on this dish is about that lovely vegetable, (although really, it’s a fruit) and how this recipe elevates it and celebrates it. I like to have all of the ingredients chilled, because, you want to serve this salad immediately. So make the dressing ahead of time, and put it, along with the cucumbers, into the fridge until you plan to eat it.

Two wooden bowls of salad on a table

If you love cucumber salads, you may also like this Cucumber Melon Salad, or try them in an appetizer like Cucumber Radish Crostini. And if you still haven’t had enough cucumber, be sure to make Tzatziki- Cucumber Yogurt Sauce


A close up of food on a table, with cucumber and lemon

Sunomono Salad, A Refreshing Cucumber Salad

Spiralized cucumber "noodles" make this simple Sunomono Salad light and refreshing.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Japanese, Vegetarian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 42 kcal


  • spiralizer


  • 2 long English Cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamari sauce you can substitute soy sauce
  • lemon slices for garnish


  • If you have a spiralizer, use it, otherwise, use a cheese grater or a vegetable peeler to turn your cucumbers into noodles, or ribbons.
  • Put vinegar, sugar, and tamari into a jar with a lid and shake until sugar is dissolved.
  • Divide cucumber into bowls.
  • Pour dressing over each bowl.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and serve immediately.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 42kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gSodium: 255mgPotassium: 230mgSugar: 5gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 4.2mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword Cucumber, rice vinegar, tamari
Tried this recipe? What changes did you make?Let us know how it was!





16 thoughts on “Sunomono Salad, A Refreshing Cucumber Salad

  1. I looooove sunomono salad. It’s amazing how something so simple can taste so refreshing and delicious. The cucumber noodles are such a great twist!

  2. I love simple, fresh salads like this and can’t seem to get enough cucumbers lately! I’ve just pinned the recipe and can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Colleen!

  3. Simple and perfect! I looooove sunomono, but I don’t make it often enough. I think it’s one of those dishes you have to make over and over again to figure out exactly where your perfect balance between sweet and sour lies. I’m quite interested in your noodle-free interpretation here! Going to have to give it a shot.

  4. I just picked an enormous bag of ‘surprise’ cucumbers from my garden yesterday. I was thinking of making a fattoush-like salad, but this would be an excellent option, too!

  5. I always order sunomono when I go to Japanese restaurants. Love the idea of using cucumber. It’s so easy and refreshing, I should have made them at home ! Thanks for the recipe !

  6. I think I might try this…I’ve made this simple cucumber salad before but it’s so much fancier when you spiralize it!

  7. This looks delicious and incredibly refreshing Colleen! Perfect for a hot summers day. I’m condo living at the moment but plan to have a home and garden in my future very soon….I can’t wait to have fresh from the garden cucumbers to enjoy for this recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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