Updated: December 13, 2017
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Crisp and Delicious: the Japanese cucumber and ways to eat it

There is a huge variety of tasty cucumbers all around the world, however the Japanese one, known as "kyuri", might be one of the best! You see it appearing in abundance in Japanese supermarkets when summer comes. It's one of the beloved summer vegetables. And for good reasons! It's refreshing and the Japanese have their own unique way of eating it. Learn how to make simple kyuri recipes by reading what follows.

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The Japanese cucumber

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Measuring approximately 10 cm, the kyuri is smaller than the varieties typically found in American or European supermarkets. The edible skin is dark green with small bumps. The flesh has few seeds, is crispier than most varieties, and has a light sweet taste with no bitterness. The cucumber has a 95 percent water content and its core temperature is much cooler than the air, which is why people crave it in the summer!

Pickled cucumber salad

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Cucumbers are often used in Japan as a "sunomono" (vinegared food). Here is a great recipe for making your own sunomono cucumber salad!

You will need:

<Cucumber> 1
<Wakame> 20-30 g
<Salt> 2 pinches
<Sugar> 1 tablespoon
<Rice vinegar> 4 tablespoons
<Soy sauce> 1/2 teaspoon
<Sesame seeds>

Step 1: soak the wakame in water and thinly slice the cucumber, then sprinkle salt over the cucumber
Step 2: mix together the sugar, vinegar, salt and soy sauce
Step 3: Remove the water from the Wakame and squeeze the water out of the cucumber slices
Step 4: Mix everything together and add the sesame seeds
Optional: you may also add some crab meat or octopus as shown on the picture above


Other easy ways to eat kyuri

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Adding a miso-based dip is also a simple and delicious way to eat kyuri! Miso is protein rich, has lots of vitamins and is said to have cancer-fighting agents. This is a very healthy combination and the miso adds a saltiness and a deep taste called umami.
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Japanese-style pickled cucumbers taste really nice and can be done in less than 5 minutes. Simply roughly cut the cucumber in 1 cm chunks. Add roughly the same amount of vinegar, soy sauce and sugar to make the pickling sauce. Add a little salt and mix everything in a zip-lock bag. Refrigerate for a while and your pickles are done!


Hope you enjoyed these simple recipes that might bring a new twist to how enjoy your cucumbers!
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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