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I confess I know very little about Japanese food, but I am determined to change that! My sister is Japanese, and I really hope that I can learn how to cook a great Japanese meal for her one day.
Therefore, I’m starting with a very basic recipe, the Japanese pickled cucumber. Otherwise known as tsukemono, Japanese pickles are a mainstay of Japanese meals. Asazuke are lightly seasoned quick pickles, which is what our recipe is for. I’m having quite a lot of fun trying to pronounce these words. 🙂
Serve tsukemono with with rice, as a snack, side dish, or garnish, as typically done in Japan. This cucumber asazuke is a very quick and simple preparation. I originally made this to go into a poke bowl (click here for the recipe). This pickle is very light and refreshing, and a perfect and easy recipe to start with in my quest to learn about Japanese cooking and cuisine.
What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Japanese Pickled Cucumber?
All you will need for this dish is the following:
- Japanese, Persian or English cucumber (or as close to a seedless cucumber as you can get)
- Rice vinegar (or seasoned rice vinegar)
- Sesame seeds
- Green onion
- Sesame oil
- Soy Sauce
Japanese cucumbers, called kyuri, are the ideal cucumber for this recipe. They are perfect for pickling and have the most satisfying crunch! Look for them at your local Asian market.
However, you can substitute Persian or English cucumbers if you aren't able to obtain Japanese cucumbers.
I have linked to Amazon for some of these items for convenience for anyone wishing to order from Amazon.
The Method To Make Japanese Pickled Cucumber
It couldn't be simpler to make this popular and delicious asazuke!
Thinly slice the cucumber, then sprinkle with some Kosher salt and leave for 30 minutes in a colander.
After that, rinse and gently squeeze out the water and pat dry with paper towels. Then add the cucumber to the prepared marinade.
Allow the cucumber to marinate overnight if possible. If not, try to allow a few hours for the flavors to meld together.
The finishing touch is to add some sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. This tsukemono is soooo good! You will absolutely love it!
Above all, I hope you'll give this Japanese Pickled Cucumber a try!!
Japanese cucumber, called kyuri, are perfect for pickling! They have a thin and tender skin. In addition, they have the most perfect satisfying crunch!
Otherwise known as tsukemono, Japanese pickles are a mainstay of Japanese meals. Asazuke are lightly seasoned quick pickles, which is what this recipe is for.
You do not need to peel Japanese cucumbers. The skin is thin and tender and great for enjoying!
1,000 Foods To Eat Project
I am working my way through the foods that are listed in the book 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This is called my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project. Japanese Cucumber, or kyuri, is food #65 in my project.
In this book, the author Mimi Sheraton lists her choice for the 1,000 Foods of the World that you MUST try. So if you haven't tried kyuri, you'll definitely want to put it on your foodie list! And this recipe is a great way to enjoy kyuri!
I first got to try them on a trip to Japan. Here are pictures of kyuri in the market, and prepared with other pickled vegetables.
Please check out my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project page for some awesome food inspo!
Some Other Japanese Foods You May Be Interested In!
Yuzu - 1,000 Foods To Eat Project
Delicious Japanese Pork Katsudon and Rice Bowl
Join Me On A Fun Food Journey!
I invite you to come along on this food journey with me! Please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It's an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here.
Japanese Pickled Cucumber
- Kosher salt for sprinkling
- 1 large English cucumber or seedless cucumber very thinly sliced; if you are using cucumbers on the small side, then use 2 cucumbers for this recipe
- ½ cup seasoned rice vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 ts sugar
- ½ ts salt
- 1 ts sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 green onion sliced
- Very thinly slice the cucumber(s)
- Sprinkle salt on the thin slices of English cucumber. Leave these in a colander to drain for approximately 20 -30 minutes
- Rinse the cucumber slices with water and drain. Gently squeeze out excess water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place the cucumber in a bowl, and add the rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, salt, and soy sauce. Mix well.
- Best to cover and leave to marinate in your refrigerator for a few hours so the flavors can meld. However, you can eat after marinating for 30 minutes if you just can't wait. 🙂
- When ready to serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with green onions.
I recommend a version that adds soy sauce(1tbsp) and sesame oil(1tsp) to your recipe!
Thank you so so much for your comments! I will add soy sauce and sesame oil as you have recommended to make this perfect! Thank you!!!!