Sushi bars and Japanese restaurants everywhere serve a simple sunomono salad of cucumbers and rice vinegar. Garnished with the sweet little precooked bay shrimp sold in the seafood section of most markets, this easy variation on that traditional dish makes a refreshing, light change of pace to more robust outdoor or picnic fare. Serve it as an appetizer or light main course. Kept well-chilled, it travels well, and prolonged marination only improves the flavors and textures. Long, skinny hothouse cucumbers, usually sold shrink-wrapped in plastic, have mild-tasting skins and need no peeling. Keep the sesame seeds separate, to sprinkle on as a garnish at serving time.
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 pound cooked baby bay shrimp, rinsed
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Quick and Easy Japanese Cuisine for Everyone Even those unfamiliar with Japanese cooking can follow the steps in this book and feel confident in achieving great tasting, authentic results. Cutting techniques and cooking methods are explained and illustrated in detail and because emphasis has been placed on the preparation of everyday Japanese meals, no special equipment for any of these dishes is necessary--a reasonably, well-equipped Western kitchen will do--and all of the ingredients are readily available.
Stir vinegar and sugar in large nonreactive bowl until sugar dissolves. Add cucumber, shrimp and chives. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.
Transfer salad to serving bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
HELPFUL TIP: If packing for a picnic, transfer the salad to an airtight, unbreakable container and keep cool in an insulated carrier with blue ice nearby. Pack the toasted sesame seeds in a separate bag or cup to sprinkle at serving time.
Recipe created exclusively for Cooking.com by Norman Kolpas.