I first had this cucumber salad at my mom and dad’s. I’ve made it many times since then. Because it’s easy to eat the entire batch in one setting, I often make a double or triple batch. It will last several days in the refrigerator.
The secret is to salt the cucumbers in a colander for about 20 minutes. This draws some of the water and intensifies the flavor.
You’ll want to make sure you have some instant dashi on hand. I prefer the Hondashi brand. Instant dashi is inexpensive and is readily available in Asian markets or online. It’s a umami bomb and an integral ingredient in many Japanese dishes.
Salting the cucumbers before making the salad, draws out some of the water and intensifies the flavor. The end result is a crisp, cool, faintly salty cucumber salad.
- 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon instant dashi
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 English cucumber, washed & unpeeled
Combine rice vinegar and dashi in a medium bowl. Stir until dashi is dissolved. Stir in sesame oil and sesame seeds into the bowl with the vinegar and dashi. Set aside.
Slice cucumber very thin – use a mandoline to slice them if you have one. Otherwise, a sharp knife will work. Place sliced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle in layers with salt. Stir to combine. Let sit in colander for 20 minutes. Make sure the colander is placed over a large bowl or in the sink. After 20 minutes, shake colander to remove excess water and add to the bowl with the remaining ingredients.
Let sit for about 1 hour for flavors to combine. Enjoy!
Instant dashi is available at Asian market or Amazon. I use the Hondashi brand.